Nile Basin Commission to be established despite dissent
Ministers charged with water resources within the Nile Basin region have expressed their frustration over the continued delay by Egypt and Sudan to sign the Nile Basin Cooperative Framework Agreement (CFA)
The CFA seeks to establish a permanent Nile Basin Commission through which member States will act together to manage and develop the resources of the river. However, negotiations have faced serious impasse as a result of the introduction of the concept of ‘water security’.
So far, six countries including Burundi, Kenya, Uganda, Ethiopia, Tanzania and Rwanda have signed the CFA. Egypt, Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo are still mulling over the framework’s provisions.
“At the recently concluded Nile Equatorial Council of Ministers (NEL-Com), we resolved to move ahead and ratify the CFA, with or without the countries that haven’t signed,” disclosed the Minister of Environment and Natural Resources, Stanislas Kamanzi.
Kamanzi is also the new Chairperson of NEL-Com with a one year mandate.
He added that the Cabinet had approved the CFA and it was ready for the ratification after Parliamentary approval.
“A commission can still be formed without the three countries. In this regard, it was made clear from the last consultations in Nairobi that desirous countries may go ahead and ratify CFA, which once done, will lead to the establishment of the Commission,” the Minister added.
Minutes of the Nairobi NEL-Com Consultative meeting, a copy of which The New Times obtained, reads in part that regional ministers set up a two month deadline to bring the three countries that have not signed the CFA on board or else the six countries would move forward with the formation of the commission.
Contact email: edwin.musoni[at]newtimes.co.rw