Think Piece: Exploring perspectives that underpin decisions for southern African urban development – Insights from Harare, Zimbabwe

The entry point into the discussion on exploring perspectives and underpinnings for decision-making in water related issues in the city of Harare is premised on the understanding that water is a central commodity, which is key for the development of all countries in both urban and rural setups. In fact, preliminary engagements with Harare city stakeholders reflected that water plays a pivotal role in the city’s development. In this thought piece, FRACTAL researchers outline issues that emerged during the think tank session held in Harare as well as pre-think tank discussions captured from city stakeholders. They submit that the city of Harare offers an important case study for tracing the challenges (and opportunities) faced in water delivery in Zimbabwe and southern Africa as a whole, highlighting five issues that need to be considered in this regard: crisis decision-making in the water sector; politics overriding efforts by technocrats; policy and legislation challenges; muddled decision-making processes; and lack of adequate financial resources.