This study, African water resources: challenges and opportunities for sustainable management propose a long-term strategy for water resource management, emphasizing the socially sustainable development imperatives for Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). The message of this strategy is one of optimism - the groundwork already exists for the sustainable management of Africa's water resources. The strategy recommends an integrated cross-sectoral, catchment area approach in Africa, and calls for both public and private participation in managing and developing water resources. The strategy also recognizes and uses the large reservoir of African capacity and builds upon the numerous existing achievements in Africa. The paper identifies five development imperatives: household water security, catchment area and wetland protection, food security, water quality and human health, and intra-national and international conflict resolution. Sub-Saharan Africa is a vast region which sees too little water, or too much, in the wrong place or at the wrong time. Too many demands are placed on too few resources, with too many people, agencies, or institutions trying to manage these resources. While water and water systems are integrated resources, the human response - in development efforts - is often not integrated.