The Nile Basin Initiative (NBI) is set to celebrate its tenth anniversary come next month.
The initiative was inaugurated in 1999 as a partnership between the riparian states of the Nile River through the Council of Ministers of Water Affairs of the Nile Basin states (Nile-COM).
It seeks to develop the river in a cooperative manner, share substantial socioeconomic benefits, and promote regional peace and security.
The celebrations were announced by the regional coordinator of the Nile Basin Confidence Building and Stakeholder Involvement (CBSI) Gordon Mumbo during a media conference held recently in Nairobi, Kenya.
The celebrations are expected to be held in Tanzania and according to a concept note for the celebrations, the initiative will showcase its achievement in the past ten years.
Rwanda is one of the nine riparian countries of the Nile Basin that also include Burundi, DR Congo, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda. Eritrea currently participates as an observer.
“During the past 10 years, it has been increasingly recognized among the riparian states that, trans-boundary cooperation on development and management of the Nile water resources can yield major benefits from the river on food and energy production, and will underpin many other benefits for the welfare of the basin inhabitants,” reads a statement from NBI offices.
This comes at a time when member states are up in arms negotiating the Cooperative Framework Agreement (CFA) of the Nile Basin which seeks to establish a permanent commission.
In a recent interview with The New Times, the Minister of Environment and Natural Resources Stanislas Kamanzi said that the way leading to the conclusion of the negotiations regarding CFA has been split into two factions.
“On one side we have the downstream countries that believe that we should go ahead and sign the CFA and have the Nile Basin Commission taking over from the interim NBI, and on the other hand we still have the two upstream countries Egypt and Sudan still sticking on not only the historical rights but also the issue of prior notification principle be opened which other countries don’t agree to reopen,” said Kamanzi.