Nile Basin Initiative


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Name Nile Basin Initiative
Logo Image:NileBasinInitiativeLogo.jpg
Geographic Scope Burundi, Congo, Egypt, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda
Subject Focus Expertise Transboundary water cooperation



The Nile Basin Initiative (NBI) is a partnership initiated and led by the riparian states of the Nile River through the Council of Ministers of Water Affairs of the Nile Basin states (Nile Council of Ministers, or NILE-COM). The NBI seeks to develop the river in a cooperative manner, share substantial socioeconomic benefits, and promote regional peace and security. Cooperative water resources management is complex in any international river basin. In the Nile Basin, which is characterized by water scarcity, poverty, a long history of dispute and insecurity, and rapidly growing populations and demand for water, it is particularly difficult. The NBI started with a participatory process of dialogue among the riparians that resulted in their agreeing on a shared vision—to “achieve sustainable socioeconomic development through the equitable utilization of, and benefit from, the common Nile Basin water resources.


"To achieve sustainable socio-economic development through the equitable utilization of, and benefit from, the common Nile Basin water resources."

Recognizing that cooperative development holds the greatest prospects for bringing benefits to the entire region, and aware of the challenges, the Nile riparians took an historic step in establishing the Nile Basin Initiative. Formally launched in February 1999, the initiative provides an institutional mechanism, a shared vision, and a set of agreed policy guidelines to provide a basinwide framework for cooperative action. The policy guidelines define the following as the primary objectives of the NBI:

  • To develop the Nile Basin water resources in a sustainable and equitable way to ensure prosperity, security, and peace for all its peoples
  • To ensure efficient water management and the optimal use of the resources
  • To ensure cooperation and joint action between the riparian countries, seeking win-win gains
  • To target poverty eradication and promote economic integration
  • To ensure that the program results in a move from planning to action.

The Strategic Action Program represents the Nile riparians’ strategic approach to achieving sustainable socioeconomic development in the basin through “equitable utilization of, and benefit from, the common Nile Basin water resources.” The Strategic Action Program provides the means for translating this shared vision into concrete activities through a two-fold, complementary approach:

  • Lay the groundwork for cooperative action through a regional program to build confidence and capacity throughout the basin (the Shared Vision Program)
  • Pursue, simultaneously, cooperative development opportunities to realize physical investments and tangible results through sub-basin activities (Subsidiary action programs) in the Eastern Nile and the Nile Equatorial Lakes regions.

Key Resources

Work on the Ground

The following provides information on some selected projects of the Nile Basin Initiative:

1. Nile Trans-boundary Environment Action Project (NTEAP) has made considerable progress, mainly in institutional capacities development, awareness creation, communities’ skills development, and water quality monitoring. Major achievements include: completion and dissemination of Nile River Awareness kit (NRAK) including French version, Microgrants fund release agreement signed for 85 projects in nine countries with a total of US$1.95(bringing the total to 175 projects and US4.0 mill commitments); 36 schools projects and 21 NEPs under implementation, 185 practitioners trained on EE&A concept,180 secondary schools teachers trained on project-based learning concept,36 school environmental projects with community link implemented, 9 masters exchange students from NBI countries participated in exchange program, capacity strengthened in all the countries in WQM (equipments, operational manuals, sampling stations, parameters and procedures).

2. Water Resources Planning and Management (WRPM) Project - Institutional set-up for the Decision Support System (DSS) is being put in place, and it’s needs assessment and design initiated. National DSS Units are being established in all the NBI countries. To enhance capability on DSS related fields among the Nile riparians, eight students have been sponsored for a postgraduate study leading to MSc. degree in Hydro-informatics. Baseline study and needs assessment of the Water Policy have been conducted at national and regional level. Good practice and guidelines for water policy formulation and implementation were developed, and regional training course on the IWRM- focusing on the Water Policy aspects conducted.

3. Efficient Water Use for Agricultural Production (EWUAP) - National consultants have been selected in most of the NBI countries and as a result, a Rapid Baseline Assessment (RBA) study of the agricultural sector has been initiated. The national consultant in Ethiopia has already produced and submitted a final RBA report.

4. Eastern Nile Subsidiary Action Program (ENSAP) - The Integrated Development of the Easter Nile (IDEN) has been prepared in conformity with the objectives and guiding principle of ENSAP. The purpose of the proposed IDEN project is to initiate a regional, integrated, multipurpose development program through a first set of investments which confer tangible, win-win gains and demonstrate joint action between the Eastern Nile Countries. The preparation of five fast track projects has been completed in readiness for investments. The launch phase of the Joint Multipurpose Project (JMP) has made significant strides during the year in accomplishing its key objective of conducting key consultative and analytical work to build consensus on the broad outlines of the first set of investments within the Joint Multipurpose Program, in a manner that demonstrates good practice in economic, social and environmental issues. The Eastern Nile Power Trade study (to promote regional power trade) was launched and the inception reports were reviewed by the technical committee from ENTRO and the EN power, environment, socioeconomic, water and electricity sector experts. Study on watershed management studies dealing with transboundary analysis and public good financing was finalized.


See also


External Resources

Nile Basin Initiative Website


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