The ten member states of the Nile Basin Initiative, gathered for the fifth Nile Basin Development Forum in Kigali, have committed themselves to continued cooperation to ensure that all people living in the basin have water security.
“The recommendations agreed here in Kigali will certainly inform the regional and national agendas for water resources management and development for the coming years,” said Rwandan Environment Minister, Vincent Biruta, while closing the 3-day forum.
“I am also glad that the recommendations mirror the Nile Basin Initiative’s ten-year strategy and its aspirations,” he added.
By 2050, the population of the Nile Basin countries is projected to more than double from around 400 million to one billion. Along with changes in climate and the desired socio-economic transformation, this will put even greater pressure on Nile Basin water resources. In response, member states have agreed to ensure water plays its rightful role as a foundation for development in the Nile Basin, as an input for increased food and energy production as well as industrial and domestic use.
The Nile Basin Initiative Secretariat’s executive director, Innocent Ntabana, said that the technical solutions are available to achieve the objective of water security in the basin.
“I urge member states to take advantage of the solution pathways that have emerged from this forum and build on the networks established. We all have a role to play in ensuring a water-secure future in the Nile Basin region and making it a better place for all living beings,” he said.
On the first day of the forum,16 journalists who have supported the development of the Basin were recognised at the 2017 Nile Media Awards. The forum also featured an exhibition at which a range of water-related organisations shared their innovations and policy solutions.
The 6th Nile Basin Development Forum will take place in Ethiopia in 2019.
The Nile Basin Development Forum
The forum is a biennial science-policy dialogue held since 2006 that brings together stakeholders from across the Basin and around the world to build consensus on the Nile cooperation agenda and the way forward for the sustainable development and management of the Nile Basin.