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Egypt to participate in upcoming Nile-COM meeting in Uganda

Ahram Online , Sunday 10 Jul 2016
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Egypt is set to participate in the upcoming 24th Nile Council ministerial meeting to be held in Uganda on 14 July, the cabinet's spokesman announced on Sunday.

According to cabinet spokesman Hossam Qawish, Prime Minister Sherif Ismail held a meeting with irrigation minister Mohamed Abdel-Ati and representatives of various bodies to review several issues, including preparations for the Egyptian participation in the African meeting.

The Nile Basin Initiative (NBI) is a regional intergovernmental partnership that seeks to develop the River Nile in a cooperative manner, in which involved countries share an objective of achieving sustainable socio-economic development and fair use of Nile Basin water resources.

The supreme decision and policy-making body of the NBI is the Nile Council of Ministers (Nile-COM), which consists of irrigation ministers from Egypt, Burundi, DR Congo, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Sudan, South Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda

Several meetings are expected to be held by the Egyptian minister with his counterparts from the Nile Basin countries to discuss projects being executed in the frame of strengthening relations between Egypt and other African nations.

According to Qawish, several projects will be discussed, including projects related to agricultural cooperation with Mozambique and other African countries.

The minister is also set to inaugurate several projects that Egypt is undertaking in Uganda, including working towards lowering the effects and dangers of floods.

According to Qawish, the meeting headed by Ismail saw discussion on the preparation of an atlas for Nile Basin countries that includes maps and data based on the biological, hydrologic and demographical aspects of the countries, as well as indicators of economic and social development.  

The creation of a database documenting the current and future water status in Nile Basin countries until 2050 was also discussed.

"It was stressed during the meeting the necessity of moving forward with effectuating and developing the water resource strategy in Egypt through projects based on specific timing for implementation, especially with the government's keenness to provide the necessary funds for such projects," Qawish added.

The cabinet also stressed on the importance of working on controlling water consumption and spreading awareness among citizens on saving water in light of challenges related to the country's population growth and agricultural and industrial water usage.

The water issue has been a vital point for the Egyptian leadership, with the country saying that the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam – which Egypt has maintained would affect its supply of Nile water – was “a reality.”

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