Supporting hydro diplomacy in the Nile Basin
Project title: Supporting hydro diplomacy in the Nile Basin
Commissioned by: German Federal Foreign Office (AA)
Countries: The Nile Basin riparian states: Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania
Overall term: 2016 to 2019
The Nile’s water resources are shared by 11 riparian states: Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda. A framework agreement on cooperation in the Nile Basin is to secure sustainable and cooperative use and management of the river. However, negotiations have stagnated since 2007 and Egypt has frozen its cooperation as part of the Nile Basin Initiative (NBI) since 2010. In 2011, Ethiopia laid the foundations for the construction of one of the biggest dam projects in Africa, the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD). Egypt is critical of the project, seeing it as a threat to its water security.
There are currently two interwoven negotiation strands concerning the Nile’s water resources: among the riparian states of the Blue Nile in connection with the Ethiopian dam project on the one hand, and with regard to the NBI and on the other hand, Egypt’s return to the Initiative’s cooperation process. New energy has been instilled in the negotiations following many years of stalemate.
Key actors from the Nile Basin riparian states contribute to a cooperative solution to the Nile conflict and play their part in the negotiation processes.
The project supports ongoing initiatives by the Nile Basin riparian states in the two current negotiation strands in the Nile conflict. It boosts the skills of key actors from the Nile Basin riparian states in water diplomacy so they can contribute to a cooperative solution to the Nile conflict and effectively play their part in the negotiation processes in an informed way.
Non-governmental and public diplomacy is strengthened to give the negotiation processes more impetus from civil society and public opinion is formed by promoting peace-oriented, evidence-based reporting in the media.
The project also supports the negotiation process via the Special Representative of the Federal Government for the Nile, for whom a secretariat is provided.