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Zambezi Watercourse Commission (ZAMCOM)



ZAMCOM Objective

The objective of the Commission:is to promote the equitable and reasonable utilization of the water resources of the Zambezi Watercourse as well as the efficient management and sustainable development thereof.”

Riparian States

The eight riparian states are:
The Republic of Angola, the Republic of Botswana, the Republic of Malawi, the Republic of Mozambique, the Republic of Namibia, the United Republic of Tanzania, the Republic of Zambia and the Republic of Zimbabwe.

ZAMCOM is envisioned:
“ to be a water management organization for the entire Zambezi River Basin, as stipulated in the ZAMCOM Agreement and drawn in line with the revised SADC Protocol on Shared Watercourses”.  

The ZAMCOM Agreement was signed on July 13, 2004 at Kasane in Botswana, by seven of the eight Zambezi Riparian States. The ZAMCOM Agreement has since come into force following ratification by the required two-thirds majority. 

Interim ZAMCOM Secretariat

The Zambezi Riparian States established the Interim ZAMCOM Secretariat (IZS) in May 2011 and it is hosted by the Government of Botswana in Gaborone.

IZS Objectives

The IZS’s major aim is to facilitate the roll out the Operationalization Plan (ZOP), in fulfillment of the Commission’s overall objective. The IZS is expected to work with the Riparian States to start up the process of operationalizing the ZAMCOM Agreement and establish its requisite organs including the Permanent Secretariat.

Immediate IZS Objectives

The IZS has the following immediate objectives

  • Set up a functional Interim ZAMCOM Secretariat;
  • Implement start-up actions of the ZAMCOM Operationalization Plan (ZOP); and,
  • Support implementation of short term actions prioritized in the Zambezi IWRM Strategy (ZAMSTRAT)

Output Areas

  • Broad and active stakeholder engagement; 
  • Ownership by the Riparian States;
  • Win-win Cooperation
  • Confidence and trust building ; and
  • Transparency and effective coordination 

Guiding Principles

  • Set up a functional Interim ZAMCOM Secretariat; 
  • Implement start-up actions of the ZAMCOM Operationalization Plan (ZOP); and,
  • Support implementation of short term actions prioritized in the Zambezi IWRM Strategy (ZAMSTRAT)

Transitional ZAMCOM Governance Structure

The ZAMCOM, under which the Interim ZAMCOM Secretariat (IZS) falls, has a governance structure that allows for activity implementation, progress tracking, transparency and accountability. The IZS, headed by the Executive Secretary, reports to the Transitional Advisory Group (TAG) through the Technical Committee (TEC) which  comprises Heads of Water Departments in the respective Riparian States. The TAG membership constitutes Senior Officials at the levels of Permanent Secretary or equivalent, as the case may be from Riparian States. The TAG makes recommendations to the Ministers responsible for Water on any decisions that should be made. The Ministers provide overall strategic guidance and oversight to the IZS through the TAG.  

The ES works in collaboration with the Ministry responsible for Water of the IZS-Host Riparian State, on administrative issues and also liaises with the SADC Secretariat’s Water Division on technical matters.

Some IZS Activities

In pursuit of its objectives, the IZS has embarked on a number of activities in line with the 3-year ZAMCOM Operationalisation Plan. To that effect, the IZS has developed a 12-month work plan, approved by the Transitional Technical Committee (TTEC). Among its main activities is the hosting of governance meetings for the TTEC, the Transitional Advisory Group (TAG) and the Water Ministers. The IZS is expected to mobilise resources for activities in the basin through collaboration with the Zambezi ICPs and Riparian States. Another major activity is stakeholder mobilisation through facilitating the establishment of the National Stakeholders Coordination Committees (NASCs) in all the eight Riparian States. The IZS is also in the process of facilitating the establishment of the permanent ZAMCOM Secretariat in liaison with the SADC Water Division.

IZS Core Cooperating Partner

The IZS is financially supported by the Norwegian Government through the Embassy of Norway at Lusaka, Zambia.

Contact Details:

The Executive Secretary, Mr. Michael Mutale  ( or the Information and Communication Specialist, Ms Leonissah Munjoma ( or

The Interim ZAMCOM Secretariat, Ministry of Minerals, Energy and Water Resources (MMEWR), Fairgrounds Office Park, Plot No. 50676, Block C, Ground Floor, P. O Box 45169, GABORONE, BOTSWANA, Tel: +267 3908148, +267 365 666, and +267 365 6660, Fax: +267 3909368, Mobile: +267 76475788 and +267 74747189


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