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Tanzania becomes the third country to give the green light to the 2010 Comprehensive Framework Agreement (CFA) as the country’s cabinet ratified the agreement this week.
Ethiopia and Rwanda already ratified the agreement.
The framework known as the ‘Entebbe Agreement’ was signed by upstream countries Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda and Tanzania in 2010 and later on by Burundi in 2011.
According to Professor Mark Mwandosya, Minister of State in the President’s Office, the Tanzanian parliament will be ratifying the Nile River Cooperation Framework next month. He stated that the ratification will lead to transformation on the Nile Basin Initiative (NBI), into a Nile Basin Commission that will set clear procedures of the Nile River water sharing.
Policymakers, scholars, researchers and other Nile Basin stakeholders have met in Nairobi to discuss the best and most sustainable ways to use Nile River waters, according to sources.
The Comprehensive Framework Agreement (CFA) aims to replace the colonial-era treaty that gave Egypt and Sudan a majority share of the Nile water.
According to reports, back in June, the Tanzanian Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Bernard Kamillius Membe called for a review of the 2010 agreement in order to consider Egypt’s water needs.
Water distribution among Nile basin states has long been regulated by a colonial-era treaty which other Nile basin countries have seen as unfair. Around 85 percent of the Blue Nile origins from Ethiopia and the country has never recognized the colonial-era treaty.
From the 11 Nile basin countries, six should ratify the Comprehensive Framework Agreement as law by their parliament. When the six countries adopt it, the initiative will convert into a commission. When the sixth country adopts the law the commission will be formed within sixty days.
Currently, the law is also in parliament waiting ratification in Burundi and South Sudan.
In a related development the 4th Nile Basin Development Forum, a high profile regional event convened by the Nile Basin Initiative comes to an end on Tuesday October 7 at the InterContinental Nairobi Hotel.
The theme for the Forum “Building Sustainable Trans-boundary Cooperation in a Complex River Basin: Challenges, Lessons and Prospects” has attracted over 450 participants.
During the two day deliberation, participants took stock of the achievements of Nile cooperation to-date; exchanged information, knowledge, best practices and lessons learned and identified priority areas to take the Nile cooperation process forward. Participants also explored plausible scenarios of Nile cooperation and outstanding challenges that lie ahead as well as ways to arrive at the desired future.
The Forum re-affirmed that Nile Basin States have no choice but to cooperate. Through cooperation, the Basin States are able to harness the synergies, taking cognizance of the comparative advantages presented by the different development approaches and growing the pie for each individual Basin State.
Under the Nile Basin Initiative – the only neutral and all-inclusive platform for Nile cooperation – the Basin States have nurtured trust and confidence, working together towards the sustainable management and development of the shared Nile Basin water resources. The capacity for wise use of the water resources has been developed through strengthening of institutions, development of planning tools and building capacities of professionals in relevant fields on integrated water resources management. In addition, water related investments of regional significance worth over USD 6.5 billion have been prepared. Of these, projects worth USD 1.3 billion are at different stages of implementation by Member States.
After 15 years of creating an enabling environment, NBI is now more than ever before focused on the investment agenda and hence intensified resource mobilization for implementation of investment projects. The projects will benefit particularly the poor and disadvantaged Nile Basin citizens.