More than 500 participants from ten Nile Basin Initiative member states are in Kigali for the fifth Nile Basin Development Forum which runs from 23rd to 25th October and looks at ways to improve cooperation for the sustainable development of the Basin.
The forum is a biennial science-policy dialogue that brings together stakeholders from across the Basin and around the world to build consensus on the Nile cooperation agenda. It also provides a platform for exchange between science and policy experts on the opportunities and challenges facing Nile Basin countries and how to enhance cooperation.
Hosted under the theme Investing in Nile Cooperation for a Water Secure Future, the forum will focus on the transboundary dimensions of water resources management as well as development in the Nile Basin countries. On the first day of the meeting, the 2017 Nile Media Awards will be held to recognise journalists who have contributed to the development of the Basin.
Nile Basin countries have been working together to protect and sustain the basin since 1967. This cooperation was formalised with the creation of the Nile Basin Initiative in 1999, which aims to ensure efficient water management and the optimal use of the resources in the Nile Basin as well as foster cooperation and mutually beneficial joint action between the riparian countries.
The members of the Nile Basin Initiative are Burundi, DR Congo, Egypt, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda. Eritrea participates as an observer.
The fifth Nile Basin Development Forum is organised by the Nile Basin Initiative in partnership with the Rwandan Ministry of Environment, and with support from development partners. Attendees of the forum include Ministers in charge of water and other government officials, members of parliament, water resource managers, environmentalists, researchers, scientists, river basin organisations, development planners, civil society and the private sector – many of which will be represented at an exhibition taking place on the sidelines of the forum.
Rwanda ratified the Nile Basin Cooperative Framework Agreement in 2012. In 2015, the country put in place a National Water Master Plan to ensure sustainable management, development and utilisation of water resources in the country. Since then, Rwanda has developed a number of catchment management plans for the integrated management of water resources and landscape rehabilitation.
Since 2004, Rwanda has hosted the Nile Equatorial Lakes Subsidiary Action Programme, a Nile Basin Initiative regional programme, under which a number of projects have been developed and implemented.
Nile Basin Development Forum Activities
23 October: Opening Ceremony and Nile Media Awards Ceremony
24 October: Parallel sessions that will focus on water security, sustaining the water ecosystems of the Nile Basin, water governance, food and energy security, climate change and catchment management.
25 October: Presentations on country perspectives on future water demands, challenges and strategies for addressing growing water demands, a policy dialogue on water governance and basin planning and investment and a ministerial panel discussion