Uganda to host 25th Annual Nile Council of Ministers

By Opio Jackson

Ministers in charge of Water Affairs from the Nile Basin Initiative (NBI) Member States are due to meet on Thursday at Entebbe in Uganda to discuss and consider approval of key NBI reports and plans including the NBI 10-year Strategy.

There are 10 NBI Member States that includes Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Egypt, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda. Eritrea participates as an observer.

The media relations expert for NBI secretarite, Elizabeth Agiro said the strategy translates the NBI Shared Vision Objective into a 10-year horizon and provides the strategic direction for the coming decade.

Agiro added that the new Strategy captures the development goals of NBI, considering the prevailing context and challenges in the Nile Basin. “These have been conceptualised into six goals; namely increasing hydropower development and power trade; improving food security; protecting and restoring water related ecosystems across the basin.”

She said the other goals are improving basin resilience to climate change impacts, strengthening transboundary water governance in the Nile Basin as well as enhancing availability and sustainable management of trans-boundary water resources of the Nile Basin.

Other key documents to be discussed and considered for approval are the Secretariat’s 5-year Basin-wide programme, which will operationalise the ten-year strategy and the annual work plan and budget for financial year 2017/2018, according to Agiro.

She stressed that the meeting will also witness expected changes in the top leadership of the organisation. “This is in keeping with the NBI tradition of annually rotating the position of chairpersons of the Nile Council of Ministers and Nile Technical Advisory Committee respectively among the Member States,” Agiro said.

The meeting, scheduled to take place at the Imperial Resort Beach Hotel in Entebbe, will be attended by Ministers in charge of Water Affairs in the NBI Member States, namely Burundi, DR Congo, Egypt, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda. Others are Members of the Nile Technical Advisory Committee, Management staff of NBI as well as representatives of development partners, civil society and the media.

The Nile Basin Initiative is a regional inter-governmental partnership launched by           the Nile Basin countries on February 22, 1999, to manage and develop the shared Nile Basin water and related resources in a cooperative manner, share substantial socio-economic benefits, promote regional peace and security.

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