Department of Development Studies

Yasmine Hafez

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Thesis title
Lakeview: An Alternative History of Nile Basin Water Politics


Yasmine Hafez conducts ethnographic and archival research to fill gaps usually concealed in trans boundary management discourses and practices, particularly related to the Nile River.

In her masters, she conducted fieldwork in Addis Ababa, where she focused on analyzing the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) and its significance for Ethiopia. She explored the dam in the context of the country's historical, economic, and social grievances, recognizing the pivotal role these grievances played in shaping the socio-political aspects of the dam's construction. This allowed her to engage in conversations about water, memory, and identity that were often absent from public discourse.

Yasmine holds a Master of Arts (MA) degree with distinction in Conflict, Governance, and International Development from the University of East Anglia (UEA). Prior to that, she obtained her Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree in Political Science with double minors in Economics and Community Development from the American University in Cairo (AUC).

For her PhD, Yasmine shifted her focus to the lakes and wetlands in the Nile Basin countries, recognising them as sites of abundance yet also realms for competition and local conflicts. Her thesis, titled "A Lakeview: Flipping the Coin beyond the Politics of Scarcity and States' Conflict in the Nile," is the result of extensive fieldwork conducted in various fishing hubs around Lake Victoria in Uganda and Kenya and the transboundary wetland in-between, as well as in Egypt around the Delta Lakes namely: Lake Burullus, Lake Mariout, and Lake Edko.

Through her research, she delves into the colonial histories of these lakes, the neoliberal interventions that have shaped these water bodies, and the fishermen’s everyday experiences amidst the growing threats of climate change.