The Cuando/Kwando River is a transboundary river located in the Kavango Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area (KAZA TFCA) in Southern Africa. It is shared by Angola, Botswana, Namibia, and Zambia with its headwaters in Angola. Being central to KAZA TFCA, the river is crucial to the area as it provides drinking water to both the people and an array of wildlife species in the Area as well as providing fish as a source of protein to the people. As fishing is one of the activities common to the river, there is an unharmonized vision on fishery management as well as governance of the river from a local to a regional level. The research will be focused between countries, Namibia and Zambia which both lie in the middle of the river and the middle of Angola upstream and Botswana downstream.
PhD researcher: Chisala Lupele
River Governance is crucial for the Cuando/Kwando River due to the importance it serves to the Area. As the different riparian countries contribute to its governance, still an unharmonized vision on its management and governance has not been reached, especially with regular activities on the river such as fishing. Fishing is said to have both sustainable and unsustainable practices that contribute to river governance. These practices are often shared within and across fishing structures. This study investigates how a learning process (social learning) in and between fishing structures as ecologies of practices of Zambia and Namibia contribute to river governance of the Cuando/Kwando River. As a qualitative study, the research uses the Participatory Action Research approach in a social learning context and seeks to answer the research goal by addressing the cultural-discursive, material-economic and social-political dimensions of the fishing practice in and between local communities as well as in and between national to regional communities. This will be based by understanding the relationship between social learning and river governance in Southern Africa. The research further concludes with implications of the fishing practice on the river governance of the Cuando River. Data-generating methods to be used include, semi-structured interviews, and river co-learning arenas in the form of dialogue workshops catalysed by a river basin game on fishery management.