Support for the Niger Basin Authority (NBA) / Autorité du Bassin du Fleuve Niger (ABN)

Project description

Title: Support for the Niger Basin Authority (NBA) / Autorité du Bassin du Fleuve Niger (ABN)
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Country: Africa, supra-national: Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chad, Côte d’Ivoire, Guinea, Mali, Niger, Nigeria
Lead executing agency: Niger Basin Authority (NBA)/Autorité du Bassin du Fleuve Niger (ABN)
Overall term: 2007 to 2016



The NBA’s mandate is to facilitate the coordinated and cooperative management of the Niger Basin. The member states of the river basin organisation are Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chad, Côte d’Ivoire, Guinea, Mali, Niger and Nigeria.

In line with the shared vision of the member states, the NBA has begun developing an institutional framework for the use of water resources based on the Water Charter, which was adopted by the Head of State in 2008 and subsequently ratified. Binding principles, shared strategies and investment plans that are coordinated among member states provide a solid foundation for the cooperative development of cross-border water resources.

The principles agreed by riparian states in their shared vision and Water Charter are, however, still the subject of debate at political level. To enable the NBA to effectively manage the utilisation and development of water resources, the steering instruments must be refined and optimised in cooperation with the member states.


The NBA plays a more effective role in managing the sustainable utilisation and development of the Niger Basin’s cross-border water resources based on the shared principles and strategies of riparian states.


The project advises the NBA in several areas:

  • Establishing a functional institutional framework to enable states to coordinate major infrastructure projects with cross-border effects
  • Harmonising national legislation with the requirements of the Water Charter
  • Monitoring compliance with agreed environmental and social standards during major infrastructure construction projects
  • Enhancing competencies and capabilities with the aim of ensuring the management of water resources is adapted to climate change, with particular emphasis on better flood prevention

The project also advises the NBA on adapting its organisational structure to the requirements of its mandate and available resources, and ensuring regular funding of core functions by member states.

The project supports selected NBA processes which contribute directly to the implementation of the key principles agreed for the joint management of the Niger Basin. To this end, support is provided to actors within the NBA, including the Technical Committee, the sub-drainage basin committees, the Executive Secretariat, the national liaison offices and selected national and municipal actors. The requirements which arise from the implementation of the core processes determine the extent of the support.

The project also makes use of GOPA-Infra’s expertise to deliver capacity development inputs designed to ensure the quality of environmental impact assessments or to compile and maintain regional investment plans.

Results achieved so far

The principles of integrated water resource management are anchored in the Water Charter and the strategy papers of the NBA. The development of integrated water management plans and agreement of the first major cross-border infrastructure measures can be considered to have been successful in preventing water-related conflicts. Neighbouring states have signed cooperation agreements for new dams which enable shared regional use of the generated energy. In cooperation with the GIZ project, the NBA is thus promoting regional integration. The legal framework has been established for the cross-border management of water resources.

The project helps the NBA to be more effective in fulfilling its role an advisor and facilitator on regional water management issues, and to coordinate investment measures of supraregional importance. The relationship of trust between the member states and the NBA has been reinforced, which is reflected, in practical terms, in the payment of membership fees. These fees, in turn, contribute to the institution’s financial stability.

The technical expertise of staff members from national ministries and other authorities has been strengthened, and the national water policies of riparian states are now more harmonised – both of which are key factors in ensuring sustainable water management throughout the Niger Basin.