The Nile Basin Initiative (NBI), represented by the Secretariat Executive Director, Eng. Innocent Ntabana and The Agence Française de Developpement (AFD), represented by Mr. Christian Yoka, Regional Director for Eastern Africa, have signed a grant agreement of 400,000 Euros aimed at capacity development of NBI’s activities.
The grant is provided through a River Basin organisation in France, The Rhone Mediterranean Corsica Agency (AERMC), which has taken the initiative to support other like-minded river basin organisations technically and financially and share their knowledge through this platform. AERMC is a public establishment with the Ministry for Environment in France dedicated to water protection.
Speaking during the signing at the Secretariat in Entebbe, Mr. Yoka emphasised the need for cooperation and technical know-how in water resource management.
“The Nile waters are a powerful lever for the socio-economic development of more than 300 million people today and the risk of climate change and population growth continues to present challenges to the sustainable use and management of these waters. In order to respond to rising challenges and demands, there is a need for greater cooperation and enhanced capacities in the field of water resource management,” he said.
The 400,000 Euros grant is in addition to an initial one million Euro grant in May 2015, which provided technical assistance for capacity building for both the Secretariat and its technical arm, the Nile Equatorial Lakes Subsidiary Action Program (NELSAP). Through this grant, NELSAP has been able to develop its Strategic Plan for 2017-2022 focusing on organisation development, investment finance mobilisation and financial autonomy, water resource management and dam safety regulation.
Mr Yoka added: “This additional financing bears witness that France is committed to support a sustainable management of water resources of the Nile Basin Initiative and its Member States, especially within the Nile Equatorial Lakes Region.”
On his part, Eng. Ntabana said: “The strengthening of the structures of the NBI and their sustainability is crucial for the maintenance of this framework of concerted dialogue. The continuation of this cooperation is critical in a context where the pressure on natural resources may generate tensions between communities of the Nile neighbouring countries.”