Accent will be on transboundary investment as Uganda hosts Nile Day
Nile basin member states will be reflecting on the potential of transboundary investments within the Nile Basin as Uganda hosts this years’ edition of the event on February 22.
The theme for this year’s is ‘Rethinking Regional Investments in the Nile Basin’.
To be held virtually because of the Covid-19 pandemic, the day whose activities have been organised by the Nile Basin Initiative (NBI) in collaboration with the host government, will take stock of the impact of the 84 projects in which USD6.5 billion has so far been invested and the scope for additional regional investment.
According to the NBI Secretariat, Nile Day is organised annually in recognition of the establishment of NBI in 1999. The day provides an opportunity for Basin citizens and friends of the Nile to come together to celebrate the benefits of Nile cooperation and to exchange experiences, views and ideas on topical issues related to the cooperative management and development of the common Nile Basin water. The occasion is also used by Member States to re-affirm their commitment to Nile Cooperation, while providing an opportunity to celebrate the rich and varied cultures which co-exist within the Nile Basin.
“Member States have worked together to negotiate, agree, prepare and in some cases, implement investment projects with shared regional benefits and the potential to ultimately benefit millions of inhabitants,” says Prof Seifeldin Hamad Abdalla, the executive director of the NBI Secretariat.
“The set of investment projects already implemented and those under implementation have clearly demonstrated the viability and value addition of transboundary infrastructure investments,” he added.
The investment projects span several sectors including hydropower development; power transmission interconnection and trade; irrigation and drainage; lake environment management and integrated sub-basin, catchment and watershed management. Other sectors are fisheries; flood protection and early warning; multi-sector investment opportunity studies; and inland waterway transport.
Activities to mark the day include a Ministerial Round Table during which, members of the Nile Council of Ministers (Nile-COM) and NBI’s Development Partners will share experiences, successes and challenges in implementing already prepared investment projects and agree on the way forward.
Other activities are the launch of the 6th Nile Basin Development Forum (NBDF), a triennial science–policy–dialogue forum organised with the aim of bringing together a broad spectrum of Nile Basin stakeholders from within and beyond the Nile Basin. The launch ceremony of this high-level regional Forum will be followed by technical sessions organised as webinars.
The event will be attended by members Nile-COM members; representatives from NBI Member States embassies and officials from ministries whose activities touch on the management and development of the common Nile Basin water resources, namely; Environment, Energy, Agriculture, Foreign Affairs, Transport and Finance. Others are Members of Parliament, Development Partners, Researchers, Academia, Civil society, Youth, and journalists.