7th NBD Forum ends with a call to intensify collaboration for all Nile Basin communities to benefit from the cooperation.
The 7th Nile Basin Development Forum (NBDF) that was hosted in Kampala Uganda from 16th -18 October 2023 came to a close with a call to strengthen the cooperation through implementing the collaboration strategies discussed during the forum to ensure all the citizens along the Nile Basin benefit from it.
The Forum attracted representatives from ten member countries, and host country representatives from different stakeholders including government officials, Civil society organizations, development partners, the private sector, and The Nile Basin Initiative Staff from Entebbe, Kigali and Addis Ababa among others.
The discussions during the forum ranged from sustainable development to climate change adaptation, from equitable resource management to fostering innovation, financing, and investment, among others all aimed at an inclusive and comprehensive approach for the Nile Basin cooperation.
During the closing ceremony, the Right Hon. First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister Of East African Community Affairs, Dr. Rebecca Alitwala Kadaga at Commonwealth Resort, Munyonyo, Kampala, Uganda, called upon a renewed commitment towards strengthening the cooperation for a common benefit of all communities on the Nile Basin.
“As we wrap up this forum, let us not view today as an end, but as a beginning. A beginning of intensified collaborations, of implementing the strategies and solutions we've discussed, and of ensuring that every individual and community along the Nile benefits from our efforts” she said
She urged member states to implement the strategies discussed in the forum in their respective countries for tangible outcomes.
“I urge each of you to carry the insights, connections, and commitments made here back to your respective countries and spheres of influence. Let's translate our dialogue into action, and our aspirations into tangible outcomes” she said
The Right Hon. First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister Of East African Community Affairs, Dr. Rebecca Alitwala Kadaga giving her remarks as Minister of Water and Environment Hon Sam follows up.
This year’s theme was: "Deepening Nile Cooperation: Accelerating the Achievement of SDGs in a Changing Climate”
The Minister Of Water And Environment, & Nile Council Of Ministers (Nilecom) Member, Uganda Hon. Sam Cheptoris said that the shared vision of achieving sustainable socio-economic development through equitable utilization of, and benefit from, the common Nile Basin Water resources is both a ray of hope and a daunting challenge. This he said reminds us of the importance of our shared waters but also highlights the fundamental connection of sustainability, cooperation, and development.
“The Nile, in all its majesty, serves as a daily reminder of this responsibility. As we have learned from the tales of our ancestors, the Nile is not just a river; it is life, it is history, it is civilization. In our pursuit of SDGs, let's promise to treat the Nile with the respect it deserves, to honor it not just as a resource, but as a legacy” he said
The Minister added that during the past few weeks, there have been discussions to explore intricate interrelations between water, energy, and food and emphasized that the prosperity and well-being of the Nile countries depend on a balanced nexus of these pillars discussed.
“We need to continue fostering innovative ways to ensure that every drop of Nile water maximizes benefits in energy generation, food security, and sustainable development,” he said
Meanwhile, during the 31st Nile Council of Ministers Meeting (NILECOM) held in Kampala, Uganda took leadership the leadership of the Nile Basin Initiative (NBI) for the next year, from Tanzania, which had presided over the organization for the past year.
It should be noted that Uganda hosts the NBI secretariat, which coordinates all the ten member countries within the Nile River basin.
NBI outgoing Executive Director, Sylvester Matemu, championed a process that led to Uganda’s nomination by South Sudan and was seconded by Rwanda, DR Congo, and Sudan, with no objections from any country.