The discourse of Nile Basin Initiative (NBI) has created opportunity to advance the collective vision of member countries towards creating Nile River Basin Commission that enables them to share the benefits equitably, WaterIrrigation and Electricity Minister Sileshi Bekele said.

According to him, the Nile River Basin Commission will establish a permanent institution that manages and advances the development of the system for all member countries to share the benefits in a win-win manner.

Speaking at a press conference he held today in connection with the 12th Nile Day Celebrations, Siliesh said NBI member countries are striving to build a Nile Basin institution founded on a new covenant based on a treaty that will do away with legacies of colonialism, including the mistrust and the inequities thereof.

The Nile Day is going to be celebrated in Addis Ababa on Thursday February 22 under the twin messages “Shared Resources” and “Collective Action.”

The Minster stated that a number of activities have been prepared for the celebration, including a brass band-led procession starting from Meskel Square  to the Economic Commission for Africa, an exhibition by various partners  showcasing achievements , and ongoing works  in water  and water related activities.

The highlight of the celebrations will be a symposium on the topic: Towards Effective Nile Cooperation. Participants will deliberate on the current challenges of the Nile Basin Initiative and chart the way forward to a solution through innovative engagement of member states, he added.

More than 500 persons from Nile Basin Initiative member countries, including ministers, development partners, members of civil societies, and experts as well as stakeholders are expected to attend the celebrations.

The event is organized by the Nile Basin Initiative in partnership with Ministry of WaterIrrigation and Electricity, and the Nile Basin Discourse, an umbrella   organization of civil society organizations.

Sileshi finally said the current status of the Nile River Basin Cooperative Framework Agreement (CFA) is signed by six countries, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi, Uganda, and Kenya.  Of these, Ethiopia, Tanzania and Rwanda have ratified the Nile River Basin Cooperative Framework Agreement (CFA).

According to the Minister, some NBI member countries are expected to move forward to sign and ratify the Nile River Basin Cooperative Framework Agreement (CFA). (ENA)