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Norwegian University of Life Science (UMB) A Seminar paper:

By: Deriba Mekonnen

April 19,2013

Introduction Background about Nile River and its Basin Problem characteristics Regime Formation Regime Strengthening Output, outcome and impact Recommendation
Hyperlinks and Apendixes

Recently, a growing number of scholars and scientists have


sought answers to the question of how to solve resource conflicts with cooperation, rather than conflict. After the 1990s, many studies have emphasized the link between resource scarcity and conflicts, arguing that an increased demand for freshwater resources would likely lead to conflicts.

The securitization of environmental issues even led to a

discourse of upcoming water wars. According to exponents of neo-realist theory in international relations, the world is in a state of anarchy.

Most empirically based studies have concluded that disputes

over the use of trans-boundary water are more likely to result in cooperation than in conflicts.

Research by Aaron Wolf and the Oregon State University shows that there

has been a remarkable increase in the number of international water th treaties in the second half of the 20 century (Wolf 1998). These treaties vary to a high degree in subject, number of riparians involved, and the extent of cooperation. The concept of Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM), which has its roots in the Dublin Principles and which was emphasized during the UN Conference on Environment and Development in Rio de Janeiro in 1992, has been defined as a holistic, cross-sectoral process which promotes the coordinated development and management of water, land, and related resources in order to maximize the resultant economic and social welfare in an equitable manner without compromising the sustainability of vital ecosystems. IWRM is a comprehensive approach to the development and management of water, addressing its management both as a resource and the framework for provision of water services (Jnch-Clausen 2004,).

The Nile with 6,671km, is the longest river in the world

and has a long history of influencing the cultures that live along its courses. Originating from the East Africas and ends in Meditation sea. Its basin covers about 1\10th of Africas Land Area. It is a source of life to >171 million people living in the basin today. The Nile is shared by 10(11) countries and has three main sources: Lake Victoria, one of the largest freshwater lakes in the world, from which the White Nile derives; the Blue Nile; and the Atbara River, both originating in Ethiopia. The riparian countries can be distinguished by dividing them into upstream and downstream countries. The upstream group includes Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda and recently Republic of South Sudan, the new country of the world. The two downstream countries are Egypt and Sudan.

Although in most international river basins, upstream countries are able to control

the runoff of such river due to their superior geographical location, the case among the Nile riparian's is the reverse. Egypt, which is the country farthest downstream, has dominated hydropolitics in the Nile Basin for history.

At the same time, Egypt, which is in economic and military terms the most powerful
among the riparians, is nearly totally dependent on the Nile for water, as 97 percent of its water originates outside Egypts territory86 percent from Ethiopia alone.

This hydropolitical situation is also marked by divisive historic legal agreements. 1929 Nile treaty concluded by Britain on behalf of its East African colonies of Kenya,
Uganda and Tanganyika, as well as Sudan, on the one hand, and Egypt on the other. The agreements says Except with the prior consent of the Egypt, no irrigation works shall be undertaken nor electric generators installed along the Nile and its branches nor on the lakes from which they flow if these lakes are situated in Sudan or in countries under British administration which could jeopardize the interests of Egypt either by reducing the quantity of water flowing into Egypt or appreciably changing the date of its flow or causing its level to drop.

* Again Nile Treaty 1959 was the agreement concluded between Sudan and

Egypt soon after independence. This treaty established the total annual flow of the Nile (measured at Aswan) as 84 billion cubic meters (km3), and allocated 55.5 km3 to Egypt and 18.5 km3 to Sudan. The remaining 10 km3 represent the evaporation .Thus, Egypt and Sudan allocated the entire flow of the Nile, as measured at Aswan, to themselves. the river Nile and remain as the main obstacle to reach agreement.

* Both agreements excludes the upper basin riparian countries from use of

* Very recently as a result of complex drivers of change in upper stream


* As a result a necessity to establish an international regime that bring

countries the hegemonic status of Egypt over Nile river has been put into test. sustainable and fair use of River Nile led to the formation of Nile Basin Initiative(NBI) in 1999 in Daresalam, Tanzania.

* NBI is a partnership among the Nile riparian states that seeks to

develop the river in a cooperative manner, share substantial socioeconomic benefits, and promote regional peace and security. It began with a dialogue among the riparian states that resulted in a shared vision to achieve sustainable socioeconomic development through the equitable utilization of, and benefit from, the common Nile Basin water resources. * It was formally launched in February 1999 by the water ministers of nine countries that share the river as well as Eritrea as an observer. Currently the number of countries involved in NBI reached 10 due to the admission of R. South Sudan. NBI has the Following objectives: 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; and to ensure that the program results in a move from planning to action.

The NBI tries to develop the river basin by implementing a broad

approach, using different tools at different levels. At the international level, the NBI intends to promote a shared vision among all riparians which includes grants-based activities to foster trust and cooperation and build an enabling environment for investment. At a sub-basin level, the NBI promotes Subsidiary Action Programs (SAP). These programs aim at identifying cooperative development opportunities to realize physical investments and tangible results (that is, action on the ground) through sub-basin activities in the Eastern Nile and the Nile Equatorial Lakes region.

NBI is managed by a transitional institutional structure, including the NBI

Secretariat, located in Entebbe, Uganda, and two project offices, one in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, for the Eastern Nile, and the other in Kigali, Rwanda, for the Southern Nile (also called the Nile Equatorial Lakes). Another very important cooperation effort is the creation of a Nile River Basin Commission (NRBC), a new organization under the new regime that would be the right way forward in promoting cooperative and integrated water resource management among the Nile Basin riparian.

The NBI institutional framework consists of three key institutions: The Nile Council of Ministers of Water Affairs provides policy guidance and makes decisions. The council holds regular annual meetings as well as extradordinary meetings. The NBI Technical Advisory Committee, established in 1998, is made up of senior civil servants and provides technical advice and assistance to the Council of Ministers. The committee is made up of one representative from each riparian country and one alternate. The NBI Secretariat, established in 1999 provides administrative support to the Council of Ministers and the Technical Advisory Committee. It is based in Entebbe, Uganda, headed by an Executive Director. The position is on a rotational basis for a 2 year term. Two subsidiary programs are managed by the Eastern Nile Regional Technical Office (ENTRO), which is based in Addis Ababa, and the NELSAP Coordinating Unit (NELSAP-CU), which is based in Kigali, Rwanda. In addition, various projects under the Share Vision Program have regional project management units located in Cairo (applied training), Addis Ababa (water resources planning), Dar es-Salaam (power trade) and Nairobi (agriculture).

In May 2010, five upstream states signed a Cooperative Framework

Agreement(CFA) to seek more water from the River Nile a move strongly opposed by Egypt and Sudan. Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda and Tanzania were original signatories. Burundi and South Sudan signed it in February 2011 and July 2012 respectively. The DRC is also expected to sign, while Egypt and Sudan are resisting the CFA preferring the status quo of the previous treaties (1929 and 1959) The CFA, once effective, is designed to replace the previous treaties. NBI will also be transferred to Nile River Basin Commission(NRBC). The CFA lays down some basic principles for the protection, use, conservation and development of the Nile Basin CFA Principles: Nile Basin state has the right to use, within its territory, the waters of the Nile River Basin, and lays down a number of factors for determining equitable and reasonable utilization In addition to the factors enumerated in the United Nations Water courses Convention, the CFA includes the contribution of each basin state to the waters of the Nile River System, and the extent and proportion of the drainage area in the territory of each basin state

The CFA also includes provisions requiring the Nile Basin states to

take all appropriate measures to prevent the causing of significant harm to other basin states. caused to another Nile Basin state, the states whose use causes such harm shall, in the absence of agreement to such use, take all appropriate measures, having due regard for the provisions of the CFA on equitable and reasonable utilization, in consultation with the affected state, to eliminate or mitigate such harm and, where appropriate, to discuss the question of compensation. Watercourses Convention(1997) and the experience of other basins such as the Mekong River Basin Commission in Asia and the Senegal River Basin Organization in W. Africa.

The CFA indicates further that where significant harm nevertheless is

These provisions are exactly the same as those of the UN

The dispute over the CFA originates from the question of

maintaining the legalpolitical status quo of existing water allocation. This preexisting regimes present huge obstacles to formation of a new regime in the Nile Basin. How this agreement become obstacle to the formation of new regime? None of the upper basin countries signed this agreement (1929 and 1959) except that British was trying to sign on behalf of three upper stream countries under its colony during those period namely Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda. Will this agreement binding after independence of these countries?

From its beginning (1997) the Nile Basin Initiative has been
supported by the World Bank, UNDP and by other external partners.

The World Bank has a mandate to support the work of the NBI, This clearly indicates the importance of international actors\

as lead development partner and as administrator of the multidonor Nile Basin Trust Fund.
donors in the formation and evolution of such regime, since NBI without their support would have not reached this level.

According to Congleton (2001) three main types of treaties


(Symbolic, Procedural and Substantive),the CFA seems at procedural level.

This Agreement is on process since the negotiation made by


the NBI took a long time mainly because of the the two downstream countries need to maintain the status quo of the previous agreements.

The process of new regime formation(both NRBC and CFA) is


However situation seems it will soon get acceptance due to
current balance is infabour of the upperstream reparian.

also taking time beyond expectation. NRBC was expected to be established within six months of after the signing og CFA.

The current development discourse and the growing demand

from upper stream to such resource due to change in socioeconomic, political and other factors as drivers of change seems supporting the strategies designed by NBI to form international regime that enables fair and sustainable use from such transboudary resources.

The projects already initiated indicates some behiovoural


change by the two downstream reparian.

However the regime lacked quantified water quota for each

countries than advising on how to use it cooperatively for sustainable development. Only <10% of the potential of Nile is used yet.

Due to globalization and other factors that are pushing these

countries to work cooperatively fairly and in a sustainable manner, multilaterally than bilateral or unilateral, the goal of NBI\CFA seems fruitful, although not finalized yet until all parties agreed on it and ratify into possible legal action. permanent institutional set up to put the Nile cooperation on a sustainable footing and to consolidate gains made from the cooperation. main obstacle

However, it is difficult to evaluate the impact of this agreement

Much is expected from the initiative to push establishment of a

The dispute over article 14b of the CFA is still remains as the

Accepting and Signing the CFA by downstream coutries mainly by


Egypt is strongly recommended owing to dramatic change in general system.

Incentives mechanism may be used to conponsate Egypt since the projects of upstream countries may have some impact on her water use. Eg.supplying Egypts with Agricultural products and electricity produced in potential upper riparian states in exchange with oil. This can be facilitated by International agencies at intitial. cooperative manner, the Basins water resources could become the foundations for great economic prosperity and well-being in all the riparian states, both in the short run and the long run. The basin can help in strengthening regional integration among African states.

If full multiple use potential will be developed and exploited in a

Thank you

* The Dublin Statement on Water and Sustainable Development, also known


as the Dublin Principles, was a meeting of experts on water related problems that took place on the 31st of January 1992 at the International Conference on Water and the Environment (ICWE), Dublin, Ireland, organised on 2631 January 1992.

* The Dublin Statement on Water and Sustainable Development recognises the


increasing scarcity of water as a result of the different conflicting uses and overuses of water. international levels to reduce the scarcity, through the following four guiding principles:

* The declaration sets out recommendations for action at local, national and
* Principle 1: Fresh water is a finite and vulnerable resource, essential to

sustain life, development and the environmentPrinciple 2: Water development and management should be based on a participatory approach, involving users, planners and policy-makers at all levelsPrinciple 3: Women play a central part in the provision, management and safeguarding of waterPrinciple 4: Water has an economic value in all its

The favored upstream version reads as follows: not to

significantly affect the water security of any other Nile Basin State and all upstream riparians have agreed to this proposal except Egypt and Sudan. Egypt, however, proposes that Article 14b should be replaced by the following wording: not to adversely affect the water security and current uses and rights of any other Nile Basin State. that the CFAs ratification with a two-thirds majority would suffice to establish the NRBC. Those riparians who would not ratify the agreement at this point could still join the NRBC later if they so wished. obstacle to sustainable cooperation in the Nile Basin, because the version favored by the upstream countries is considered a threat to maintaining the status quo, and Egypt and Sudan have refuseduntil nowto sign the upstream version.

During the negotiation process, it was decided by the Nile-Com

And yet, the historic water agreements remain the primary

According to Salman 2011a, the stakes of the Nile Basin states their interests in, contribution to and uses of the Nile waters vary considerably as follows:

The stakes of Egypt, Sudan, South Sudan and Ethiopia in the Nile are
classified as very high;

those of Uganda as high; those of Tanzania, Kenya, Burundi, and Rwanda as moderate; and those of Eritrea and the Democratic Republic of Congo as low Yet, Egypt and Sudan use almost the entire flow of the river.

Ethiopia contributes about 86% of the total flow of the Nile waters, while the Equatorial Lakes provide the remaining 14%. Naturally, this is where the disputes over the Nile Basin begin; and they are interwoven with what are termed the Nile colonial treaties, although not all of these treaties were concluded during the colonial era.

Regime based on the longest River of the world CFA increase relationship between African states; Eastern Africa
and Northern Africa

Complexicity of issues and strong participation of internation


communities in different forms.

Development of Nile Basin Decision Support System(NB-DSS)


This tool provides:

Member States with a common analytic platform and knowledge base to


support the cooperative development of the Nile Basin water resources. optimization and multi-criteria decision making

diverse toolsets for data processing, modeling, scenario management,

It offers tools for integrating environmental, social and economic


objectives thus greatly facilitating multi-sector water resources planning at river basin level.