The German Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs, Hon. Frank-Walter Steinmeier on Saturday evening held bilateral talks with the Executive Director of the Nile Basin Initiative (NBI) Secretariat, John Rao Nyaoro, HSC on the margins of a diplomatic gathering hosted by the government of Uganda in Kampala.
The talks focused on the importance of sustainable trans-boundary Nile cooperation, which has a huge potential to reduce poverty in the region, ensure environmental sustainability, avoid competition and tension and promote regional peace and security.
Mr. Nyaoro appreciated the support provided by the government of Germany, which he said has been instrumental in laying the foundation for sustainable Nile cooperation. "Since 1999, the government of Germany, through GIZ, has been providing financial and technical support to NBI in areas aimed at strengthening the platform for cooperation as well as developing the capacity of Member States to cooperate, among several other such gestures". Nyaoro said.
This has resulted in a number of remarkable achievements including increased trust and confidence among the Basin states and citizens; improved mutual understanding and appreciation among stakeholders of the fragility, sensitivity and hydro-politics of the Nile as well as preparation of joint investment projects of regional significance worth over USD 6 billion.
Nyaoro added that despite the achievements registered, the Nile Basin still faces some challenges. The Basin is a water scarce region, countries are grappling with meeting the rapidly growing demands for water, food and energy; poverty is rampant with six of the 10 NBI Member States among the least developed in the world; different and conflicting interests could affect regional peace and security. Nevertheless, progress can only be made through cooperation.
"An all-inclusive Nile cooperation and increased country commitment to the cooperation is a key strategic objective of NBI in order to ensure that development of the shared Nile Basin water resources by one Basin state is not at the expense of another," reiterated Nyaoro.
He requested for continued support from the government of the Federal Republic of Germany towards building sustainable Nile cooperation.