Addis Ababa June 23, 2017 Leaders of Nile Basin countries on Thursday discussed environmental degradation and coping mechanisms to enhance growth.
The leaders at their first strategic summit held in Entebbe, Uganda discussed on desertification and deforestation, population growth, low level of expansion of industries, transforming the agricultural sector and increasing electricity access to rural communities are among issues discussed by the leaders.
They have also exchanged views on coping mechanisms that would help to alleviate problems and work together on ways and means of tackling the issues mentioned, according to Ethiopian Minister of Water, Irrigation and Electricity Dr. Sileshi Bekele.
They also urged Nile Riparian States who did not ratify the Cooperative Framework Agreement (CFA) to follow suit. Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda have signed the CFA.
According to the Minister, Ethiopia has reiterated commitment to work hard for the realization of the strategic goals discussed by the Summit.
Consensus was also reached to continue consultation on leadership level in future and proposal was also presented to transfer the Nile Basin Initiative to Nile River Commission, Sileshi said.
The next summit will be held in Burundi.
The Nile Basin Initiative (NBI) is an intergovernmental partnership of 10 Nile Basin countries, namely Burundi, DR Congo, Egypt, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda. Eritrea participates as an observer.
Over the past several years member states of the NBI had conducted a number of meetings focusing on equitable utilization of the waters of the Nile.