Africa’s great rivers have nourished some of the world’s most significant civilizations. They have shaped the rhythm of life for untold generations of riparian peoples, linking cultures across political borders. 

Two fisherman in a small boat on the Congo River. One is waving to the camera.
Fisherman’s salutations from the Congo River between Kinshasa and Lukolela, Democratic Republic of Congo. | Photo by: Ollivier Girard/CIFOR

Unfortunately, from the Nile to the Zambezi, many of these rivers have been dammed, diverted, dredged and polluted in the name of meeting water and energy needs. This development has not only failed to meet these needs, it has caused catastrophic social, environmental and economic damage. 

Our Work in African River Basins

Africa deserves a just energy transition that maintains the vital free-flowing rivers that nourish its unique biodiversity and enable transportation, farming and fishing.

With our partners, the Africa Program works to promote sustainable solutions for meeting food, water and energy needs and to ensure that local communities, and women in particular, have a voice in decisions affecting their rivers.

River Basins

Related Resources

Inga women have been fighting for their rights and to stop the third Inga dam from being built on their river. Their livelihoods and wellbeing are at stake, as many decisions have been made without their voices being heard (2019)
International Rivers’ Africa Program Director Rudo Sanyanga tells a powerful story about the Tonga people of the Zambezi River (2012)

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