Home | Press Releases    Tuesday 16 March 2004

NBI : Inauguration of the Nile Basin Trust Fund Committee

NILE BASIN INITIATIVE
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MARCH 16TH 2004

The Nile Basin States enter into their second day of discussions on the undertakings required to develop the Nile River in a cooperative manner to promote regional economic growth and security. These discussions form part of the annual review of the activities of the Nile Basin Initiative, a regional partnership initiated by the Nile countries in 1999 to realize a shared vision: "to achieve sustainable socio-economic development through the equitable utilization of, and benefit from, the common Nile Basin water resources". Delegates from Kenya, Egypt, Sudan, Ethiopia, Uganda, Rwanda, Democratic Republic of Congo, Tanzania, Burundi and Eritrea are participating in these meetings.

Today, the Nile Basin Trust Fund Committee has been inaugurated to oversee and to administer the Nile Basin Trust Fund to ensure that it is used to meet the objectives of the Nile Basin Initiative. During the inauguration of this Committee, the Kenyan Minister for Water Resources Management and Development, Hon. Martha Karua, said the Committee would help steer NBI programs into action to promote development and peace within the Nile States.

She said the implementation of the NBI programs would symbolize the commitment of the Nile States to work together to foster development. "They will see joint actions that will show that we can use our joint resources for peace on the Nile", the Kenyan Minister said.

At the same forum, the Senior Water Advisor at the World Bank headquarters, David Grey described the inauguration of the Nile Basin Initiative Trust Fund Committee as a symbol of partnership amongst the Nile states. "It’s a celebration of partnership, the partnership of the Nile Basin states and partnership of the development community. The Nile is all about opportunity for cooperation; it’s about opportunity for peace and stability", Mr. Grey remarked.

The Nile Basin Trust Fund Committee is chaired by the Chairperson of the Nile Council of Ministers, (Nile-COM), currently the Kenyan Minister of Water Resource Management and Development, Hon. Martha Karua and co-chaired by the World Bank.

The Nile Basin Trust Fund was activated in January 2003, to provide a coordinated, streamlined and cost effective vehicle to manage donor funds pledged through the International Consortium for Cooperation on the Nile (ICCON), a forum conceived as a long term partnership of the Nile states and the international community. The World Bank currently administers the Nile Basin Trust Fund.

The Nile is home to an estimated 160 million people. More than 300 million people live in the 10 countries that share and depend on the Nile waters. All of these people rely to a greater extent on the river for their basic needs. 10 countries share the Nile River: Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Egypt, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Kenya, Rwanda, Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda.

For more information please contact the Executive Director, Nile Basin Initiative Secretariat, Entebbe, Uganda. Tel. No. (256-41) 321329/321424 or on email; mmsuya@nilesec.org