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East African countries aspire collective action on Nile development   

ADDIS ABABA (Xinhua) -- East African countries that are celebrating the Nile Day in Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa on Thursday called for collective and sustainable actions on the development of the Nile River.

Celebrating the Nile Day under the theme “The Nile: Shared River, Collective Action,” Nile Basin Initiative (NBI) member countries have expressed their aspiration towards the optimal and sustainable utilization of the world’s longest river.

Speaking in connection to the 12th annual Nile Day celebration, NBI Secretariat Executive Director, Innocent Ntabana, called for collective actions so as to strengthen collaboration among member countries and the sustainable use of the river’s basin.

“To obtain the optimal utilization and ensure sustainability of the resource, Nile basin countries must act collectively, balancing interests and focusing on common goals at basin level,” Ntabana said.

The day is a commemoration of the establishment of the Nile Basin Initiative (NBI), which currently brings together ten Nile basin countries that are Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, Sudan, Egypt, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, and DR Congo.

The NBI member states have a shared vision of achieving sustainable socioeconomic development through the equitable utilization and benefit from the common Nile Basin water resources.

Ethiopia’s Minister of Water, Irrigation and Electricity, Seleshi Bekele, said that the establishment of the NBI in Feb. 22, 1999 marked “a major milestone in the history of Nile cooperation.”

According to Bekele, the establishment of the NBI was the first time that the countries jointly agreed to establish an all-inclusive basin-wide institution to provide a platform for consultation and coordination among Nile riparian countries.

At least 500 Nile Basin participants, including Nile Council Ministers (Nile-COM), representatives from NBI member countries and researchers are said to be amongst of the attendants of the commemoration day celebrations that are underway at the headquarters of the UN Economic Commission for Africa (UN-ECA) and in different parts of Addis Ababa.

According to NBI, Nile Day provides an opportunity to increase awareness of the importance of basin-wide Nile Cooperation in jointly taking good care of and utilizing the shared Nile Basin water and related resources for win-win benefits.



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