Eng. Sylvester Anthony Matemu, during the media briefing on October 13
Kampala: From 16th to 18th October 2023, the Nile Basin Initiative (NBI), in partnership with the Republic of Uganda, will host the 7th Nile Basin Development Forum (NBDF) at Speke Resort Munyonyo. This year’s theme is “Deepening Nile Cooperation: Accelerating the Achievement of SDGs in a Changing Climate”.
The Executive Director of the NBI Secretariat, Eng. Sylvester Anthony Matemu, during the media briefing on October 13, ahead of the 7th NBDF said that the major purpose of this forum is to form partnerships with the aim of bringing science and policies together to see how to sustain the Nile River in these challenging times of population growth. ‘‘In 2012, the population was 238 million people, and now we are talking of more than 272 million,” he said
Matemu also said that the NBDF is a platform where various stakeholders meet to discuss issues and come up with ideas and recommendations before implementation. “We are the ones that take stalk of those great ideas and put them into action to coordinate the interest of member states, but these great ideas as we coordinate, we see how they are helping us to really shape and improve the implementation of the six goals of our policy government which we call the strategic plan of 10 years between 2017 to 2027 of which we have done for 5 years and we are now in the second cycle of 5 years,” he explained
‘‘Talking of water, energy, and food security, environmental conservation, climate change adaptation, and transboundary cooperation, the goals resonate very well with the governments of member state policies and also with the continental and global. This shows that NBI isn’t in conflict with any initiative while the policy guidance is to implement the strategy.”
The purpose of establishing the NBI has been the need to sustain the environment because the flow of water is a contribution from different small sources that feed the main river which calls for attention to the water quality, how to handle the wastewater discharge, and plastics among others.
“If we want to look back to 1967 when floods affected the countries that there was no coordination, the countries that were affected decided to come together to find a solution, we are about 55 years of cooperation therefore countries need to be together because the challenges in various countries can be common but there are those that can be different from others.”,” Matemu explained
The members who established the NBI are Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Egypt, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Sudan, South Sudan, Tanzania, and Uganda. Eritrea, the tenth riparian country of the Nile River Basin, currently participates as an observer but has expressed an interest in joining the NBI.
The NBDF is a high-level regional event convened every three years by NBI in collaboration with its Member States and in partnership with development partners.
The event is a science-policy-practice dialogue that provides an opportunity for constructive reflection on contemporary information, knowledge, and best practices as well as building partnerships among professionals, in transboundary water resources management and development.