Power struggle, dispute and alliance over local resources: analyzing 'democratic' decentralization of natural resources through the lenses of Africa inland fisheries uri icon


  • This paper is based on a global review of fisheries decentralization programs (co-management) in sub-Saharan Africa. Partly challenging the current narrative, but in line with experience in other sectors (e.g., forestry), the review shows that the outcomes of these decentralizations have not been systematically positive. In most cases, fisheries co-management failed to improve governance, but simply altered the distribution of power and responsibility amongst the different stakeholders. In this new political landscape, poorly designed reforms have enabled a variety of (usual and new) local actors to advance their own agendas, often at the detriment of the direct end-users (fisherfolk)

publication date

  • 2009