ENTEBBE, Uganda – Renowned economists from within and beyond the Nile Basin this week met in Entebbe, Uganda for a two-day forum, under the auspices of the Nile Basin Initiative (NBI), aimed at taking stock and exchanging experiences in integrating economic perspectives for efficient water resources management in the Nile Basin.
The forum, running under the theme: “Integrating economic perspectives for more efficient water resources management in a shared river basin”, also provided tools and ideas for NBI Member States to consider in their respective national planning.
Speaking at the opening ceremony, Jackson Twinomujuni, the Commissioner for International and Trans-boundary Water Affairs in Uganda’s Ministry of Water and Environment, said: “I expect the forum will make a compelling case for Nile Basin countries to invest in their decision-making processes and tools to integrate economic principles for more sustainable and efficient management of their shared water resources in order to meet the needs of the present population and the generations to come.”
The NBI Secretariat Executive Director, Eng. Innocent Ntabana, on the other hand said economic considerations play a vital role in water resources management.
“Incorporating the economic key dimensions is essential for optimising water uses, making better use of the available water and the related resources, and devising a robust water management framework that not only advances our strategies and practices but also ensures improved living conditions basin wide,” said Ntabana.
Other experts speaking at the forum highlighted the importance of strengthening on-going developments in the water sector with plans concerning the energy and agricultural sectors, as both rely, to a large extent, on the use of water.
Only by doing so, participants heard, would NBI member countries be able to achieve their Shared Vision Objective of ‘Achieving sustainable socio-economic development through the equitable utilization of, and benefit from, the common Nile Basin water’,
The forum was attended by eminent economists and NBI governance members all focused on the economics of water resources development and management in the Nile Basin.
It was organised by the NBI Secretariat with support from GIZ and in collaboration with Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI) and the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
The Nile Basin Initiative (NBI) is a regional inter-governmental partnership launched by the Nile Basin countries on February 22, 1999, to manage and develop the shared Nile Basin water and related resources in a cooperative manner, share substantial socio-economic benefits, and promote regional peace and security.
There are 10 NBI Member States: Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Egypt, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda. Eritrea participates as an observer.