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The Permanent Joint Technical Commission  

The Permanent Joint Technical Commission (PJTC) is an advisory body established to consult the respective governments on the development of the Kunene River and to oversee the implementation of common infrastructure projects.

Joint visit to the Calueque dam.
Source: Vogel 2009
( click to enlarge )

The PJTC was established through an agreement between Angola and Namibia. The purpose of the commission in relation to international watercourses is to:

  • Participate with riparian states in the establishment and continuous development of a common database regarding the description and use of shared water courses;
  • Engage in the joint management, planning and development of joint projects with other basin states within the Southern Africa Development Community for the purpose of promoting economic growth, environmental integrity and common understanding;
  • Establish and promote institutional relationships within the river basin;
  • Ensure the participation of interested persons in the development of the basin's water resources;
  • Develop and improve the capacity for participation in the shared water resource consultations and international river basin organizations; and
  • Establish mechanisms, or participate in the re-establishment of mechanisms, for the prevention, management and resolution of disputes relating to internationally shared water resources.

The attempt to manage the water resources of the Kunene River in an integrated manner between the two countries has a long history. Several agreements were concluded, each one reinforcing the provisions of the previous agreement and, although many of the agreements refer to the cordial relations between Namibia and Angola, one issue remains to be clarified. The First Water Use Agreement of 1 July 1926 gives the Union of South Africa “the right to use up to one half of the flood water of the Kunene River for the purposes of inundation and irrigation”. However, it has never been clearly defined between the countries what the parties meant by “flood water”.




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