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Burundi ratifies the framework agreement on cooperation in the Nile River Basin

Minister of the Environment, Agriculture, and Livestock of Burundi, Prosper Dodiko addressing the celebrants during the 18th Nile Day in Bujumbura

During the celebration of the 18th Nile Day which also marked 25 years of existence of the Nile Basin Initiative (NBI) on February 22, 2024, in Bujumbura.

Prosper Dodiko, Minister of the Environment, Agriculture, and Livestock of Burundi informed the celebrants that the country has finally ratified the Nile Basin Cooperative Framework Agreement (CFA). “I would like to inform you that Burundi has already ratified the framework agreement for cooperation in the Nile Basin,” he informed

He added that the instrument has already been sent to the African Union (AU) but also called upon the other countries that have ratified the CFA but have not yet sent the document to the AU to immediately take action.

“We have heard that there is another country that has ratified but has not yet sent the document to the AU, we invite them to do so. By doing this, we will achieve a consensus of 6 out of 10 countries required for the Nile Basin Initiative to have a legal framework,” he highlighted

This legal framework is crucial for the NBI, as it is essential for mobilizing funding to implement more development projects for the benefit of the population in the member countries of this initiative. “We encourage other countries that have not yet signed to follow suit,” Prosper Dodiko emphasized

In 1997 before the NBI was set up, Basin States had initiated a process for formulation of a CFA to establish a permanent River Basin Commission for the Nile Basin. During this period, the CFA was negotiated, and signed by 6 countries and has since been ratified by 4 Countries.

The six countries that have so far signed the CFA are Burundi, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, and Uganda, and out of those six, four countries: Ethiopia, Rwanda, Tanzania, and Uganda have ratified the Treaty and are now joined by Burundi.

The ministers responsible for water affairs of the Nile basin states have always called on countries that are yet to sign and ratify the CFA on the Nile, to do so to enable the transition to the Nile River Basin Commission (NRBC) a body with a full legal mandate to facilitate cooperation among the Nile Basin States in conservation, management, and development of the Nile River Basin and its waters.

Where the CFA and the subsequent NRBC will not only allow for more equitable use of the Nile waters but will also deepen cooperation among riparian countries as well as the establishment of a permanent institutional framework that will take the achievements of NBI to the next level.

 

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