Ministers in charge of Water Affairs from the 10 Nile Basin Member States will on Thursday 14th July, 2016 gather in Entebbe, Uganda at the 24th Annual Nile Council of Ministers (Nile-COM) meeting.
Speaking during a media briefing at Protea Hotel in Entebbe, Uganda’s Minister of Water and Environment, Hon. Sam Cheptoris, said the ministers from Burundi, DR Congo, Egypt, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda, will deliberate on how the countries can further cooperation on the Nile.
“The ministers will discuss how they can strengthen cooperation on managing and developing the shared River Nile water resources, which continues to be an essential fountain of life for Nile Basin citizens,” he said.
Hon. Cheptoris explained that the ministers would also touch on a few other pertinent issues, such the financial sustainability of NBI, one of whose strategies is to increase country contributions every two years, to meet the organisation’s operational costs. This, he said, follows the closure of the World Bank-managed Nile Basin Trust Fund in 2014, NBI’s biggest source of funds at the time.
“The meeting will also discuss how to expedite the implementation of already prepared investment projects worth more than USD6 billion in order to increase food, energy and water security and improve livelihoods of over 400 million Nile Basin citizens.”
Also up for discussion will be Egypt’s non participation in NBI activities.
“Engaging Egypt is important because it supports NBI’s efforts to establish a basin-wide platform for all the Nile Basin States to dialogue,” said Hon. Cheptoris.
NBI is also expected to see a change in leadership of both the governance and management bodies. Uganda will assume chairmanship of the Nile-COM from Tanzania, while an appointee from Rwanda will replace Kenya’s Dr. John Rao Nyaoro, HSC as Executive Director of the NBI Secretariat.
During the briefing, NBI launched a redesigned website with new and bold design as well as easier navigation.
“The new website offers quick and easy access to essential information on NBI, Nile cooperation and the Nile Basin. It is part of NBI’s ongoing efforts to enhance the quality and availability of information to members, partners including the media and visitors,” Nyaoro said.
The meeting will also be attended by officials from ministries whose activities touch on the management and use of the shared Nile Basin water resources, representatives of NBI Member States embassies in Uganda, development partners, civil society, Members of Parliament, and NBI staff.