The Nile is an iconic river of global significance. It is a symbol of the human capacity to harness water for the development and growth of civilizations, but also of the fragility of our existence and unremitting dependence on water's life-giving properties.
The Nile is also a complex river system in hydrological, environmental and climatic terms. It crosses the borders of eleven different countries namely; Burundi, DR Congo, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, The Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda with very different social, cultural and economic realities. Sharing water resources between so many countries (and their growing populations and their demands) is a challenge in itself, but the geopolitical and hydro political realities in the Basin turn it even more complex.
To this end, the Nile Basin countries came together in 1999 to establish the unprecedented Nile Basin Initiative (NBI), to jointly overcome the challenges and take advantage of the opportunities to maximize benefits. This publication looks at how, in the space of a little over 17 years, NBI has successfully established a program of work that has generated a swathe of shared benefits, transforming lives in the Nile Basin.
Get an overview of NBI's achievements, which have resulted in a step change in development across the Basin. The overall achievement can be summarized as a transformation in the way countries sharing the river perceive joint challenges and act to tackle them.
There has been a concerted effort at strengthening the awareness of the need for and benefits of Nile cooperation - of which this publication is a part.
Chapter 1 showcases benefits for each Member State, both achieved and in the pipeline, covering a range of energy, food and water needs. These include the Ethiopia-Sudan Transmission Interconnection benefiting 1.4 million people, Rusumo Falls Hydro-electric project benefitting 1, 146,000 people in Burundi, Rwanda and Tanzania. Others are planned irrigation and watershed projects basin-wide, which will put 14,000 ha of farmland under improved agriculture.
Chapter 2 focusses on enhanced capacity not only of professional competencies and capabilities to jointly manage and develop shared water resources but also capacity to cooperate, build trust and confidence among Basin States as a means by which to provide a wider enabling environment for investments.
Chapter 3 describes the credible and impartial knowledge and information created and analytic tools developed in support of more robust planning and development strategies for improved livelihoods.
Chapter 4 looks at the NBI - a strong regional institutional platform for dialogue and cooperation, which is all inclusive and neutral.
Chapter 5 is about possible futures - first highlights the baseline and then describes future challenges.