• Tue. Apr 23rd, 2024

Celebration of the 25th anniversary of the Nile Basin Initiative


Feb 27, 2024

BUJUMBURA February 27th (ABP) – The Vice-President of the Republic of Burundi, Mr. Prosper Bazombanza, enhanced with his presence, Thursday February 22, 2024, in Bujumbura, the ceremonies marking the celebration of the 25th anniversary of the initiative of Nile basin. That day was organized under the theme “optimizing the benefits of cross-border cooperation on the Nile”. It was also a question of reflecting on the successes and challenges encountered over the last 25 years of cooperation on the Nile, of consolidating the achievements and of considering the prospects of cooperation, a check on the site by ABP has revealed.

The Vice-President of the Republic of Burundi indicated that the Nile Basin Initiative has a vision which consists of the sustainable management of the Nile water resources with a view to supporting the socio-economic development of member countries. He also noted that the Nile Basin Initiative has endowed itself with natural resources that have supported livelihoods for millennia and continue to support the lives and economies of beneficiary countries for generations to come.

According to him, the development of water resources through the Nile Basin initiative has enabled the beneficiary countries to develop Rusumo hydroelectric power and transmission lines.

Furthermore, he specified that that initiative has at the same time extended and increased the interconnection and transmission capacity of energy in the basin.

Mr. Bazombaza took that opportunity to invite member states to take advantage of those increased interconnections to promote trade. He also asked the Nile Basin Initiative to explore other interventions because, he explained, the food productivity of those states relies largely on rain-fed agriculture, specifying that the seasons are predictable and reliable.

The Vice-President of the Republic of Burundi also stressed that the population of the basin countries relies largely on agriculture to meet food needs.

Thus, he added, food production methods can be improved through mechanized agriculture, irrigation and the opening of commercial outlets in the basin.

He also requested the establishment of food trade strategies within the Basin by setting up information systems to identify areas of abundance and areas of deficit as well as the implementation mechanisms for commercial opportunities for those food crops.

The Vice-President of the Republic encouraged those member states to adopt national reforestation programs and to fight against erosion in order to maximize the infiltration of rain into the subsoil of the region. Which, he said, will help fight climate change and combat the ever-increasing desertification.

The Burundian Minister in charge of the environment, Mr. Prosper Dodiko, announced that the Nile Basin initiative constitutes a natural ecosystem which offers advantages in water and electricity as well as biodiversity. He called on the beneficiary countries to work in complementarity to properly manage natural resources and support biodiversity found in the Nile basin.

The President of the Nile Cabinet (Ugandan Minister of Water), indicated that the Nile Basin Initiative is a regional intergovernmental partnership bringing together ten Nile Basin countries, namely Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Egypt, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda. The Nile Basin Initiative is the only basin-wide institution mandated to facilitate the development and cooperative management of the shared water resources of the Nile Basin on behalf of the ten Member States, for mutual benefit and to promote peace and regional security.

Note that Nile Day is a good opportunity for the Nile Basin Initiative to highlight the importance of cooperation on transboundary waters for the sustainable management and development of common water resources. It is also a good opportunity to build capacity and create an environment conducive to the exchange of information.