The ten member states of the Nile Basin Initiative have committed to continued cooperation to ensure that all people living in the basin have water security. The commitment came after three days of vibrant discussions between more than 400 participants from member states and across the world at the fifth Nile Basin Development Forum in Kigali, Rwanda.
By 2050, the population of the Nile Basin countries is projected to more than double from around 400 million to one billion. This, along with changes in the climate and the desired socio-economic transformation, will put even greater pressure on Nile Basin water resources. In response, member states have agreed to ensure water plays its rightful role as a foundation for development in the NIle Basin - as an input for increased food and energy production as well as industrial and domestic use.
Closing the forum, Rwanda’s Minister of Environment, Vincent Biruta, said:
“The recommendations agreed here in Kigali will certainly inform the regional and national agendas for water resources management and development for the coming years. I am also glad that the recommendations mirror the Nile Basin Initiative ten-year strategy and its aspirations.”
The Nile Basin Initiative Secretariat Executive Director, Eng. Innocent Ntabana, said that the technical solutions are available to achieve the objective of water security in the basin.
“I urge member states to take advantage of the solution pathways that have emerged from this forum and build on the networks established. We all have a role to play in ensuring a water secure future in the Nile Basin region and making it a better place for all living beings,” he said.
The fifth Nile Basin Development Forum held from October 23 - 25, 2017 was supported by the Government of Rwanda, the Federal Republic of Germany, the World Bank and Cooperation in International Waters in Africa.
The forum also included a number of side events to raise awareness of the latest trends in integrated water resources management and acknowledge the media’s contribution to a prosperous Nile Basin. On the first day of the forum,16 journalists who have supported the development of the Basin were recognised at the 2017 Nile Media Awards. The forum also featured an exhibition at which a range of water-related organisations shared their innovations and policy solutions.
The 6th Nile Basin Development Forum will take place in Ethiopia in 2019.