Eastern Nile Council of Ministers Renew Cooperation Commitment

Nile Basin Initiative3 February 2014: The 26th meeting of the Eastern Nile Council of Ministers (ENCOM), the governing body of the Eastern Nile Subsidiary Action Program (ENSAP) of the Nile Basin Initiative (NBI), discussed challenges faced in the basin, such as population growth, rapid urbanization, high economic growth rates and climate change.

Ministers also dealt with means of addressing these challenges, such as adaptive management principles and cooperative arrangements to: increase water use efficiency and productivity; minimize losses; allocate water wisely and judiciously; and use the Nile as a vehicle for regional integration and the promotion of socioeconomic development and poverty alleviation.

The meeting, which took place on 30 January 2014, in Debrezeit, Ethiopia, included representatives from Ethiopia, Sudan and the Republic of South Sudan. Egypt has not participated in the NBI since the signing of the Cooperative Framework Agreement (CFA) in February 2011 by various upstream States, seeking more water from the Nile.

The meeting was immediately preceded by the 27th meeting of the Eastern Nile Subsidiary Action Program Team (ENSAPT), the technical advisory body of the ENCOM. Ministers also discussed the challenges posed by the freeze, including curtailed results, while welcoming the re-engagement of Sudan in the process. They also highlighted the admission of South Sudan, renewed their commitment to cooperation, and called for private sector engagement including through public-private partnerships (PPPs). The next meeting of the ENCOM will be held in Khartoum, Sudan, at a date to be determined. [NBI Press Release] [Nile Basin Initiative Website]