The Nile river is shared by ten countries and serves as home to an estimated 160 million people within the boundaries of the Basin, while almost twice that number, roughly 300 million live within the ten countries that share the Nile waters. The Nile Basin Initiative (NBI) aims to facilitate cooperation in managing shared ecosystems among the governments of countries bordering the river, and their non-governmental organisations and communities. These countries include Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Sudan, Tanzania, and Uganda. The NBI seeks to achieve sustainable, socio-economic development in these countries through the equitable use of the basin's shared water resources and fair distribution of the resulting benefits.
Communication Strategies: 

Formally launched in February 1999 by the Council of Ministers of Water Affairs of the Nile Basin States, the Initiative provides a forum for the countries of the Nile to move forward a cooperative process to realise concrete benefits in the Basin and build a solid foundation of trust and confidence.

The aim of the NBI is to:

  • Provide a platform for co-operation and for building working relationships between the riparian countries
  • Provide an arrangement by which to move forward from discussion to action
  • Implement the “Strategic Action Program"

NBI launched A Strategic Action Programme to identify and prepare cooperative projects in the Basin. The programme consists of two complementary sub-programs:

  • Basin-wide projects - “Shared Vision Program” (SVP) to help create an enabling environment for action on the ground

    The basin-wide Shared Vision Program currently includes seven projects, which build upon each other to form a coordinated program. Four of these are thematic in nature, addressing issues related to environmental management, power trade, efficient water use for agriculture, and water resources planning and management. The remaining three are facilitative, supporting efforts to strengthen confidence-building and stakeholder involvement, applied training, and socio-economic development and benefit-sharing.
  • Sub-basin projects - “Subsidiary Action Program” (SAP) is aimed at the delivery of actual development projects involving two or more countries

    Two Subsidiary Action Programs are being developed. The Eastern Nile (EN-SAP) currently includes Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia; while the Nile Equatorial Lakes Region (NEL-SAP) includes the six countries in the southern portion of the Basin, as well as the downstream riparians Sudan and Egypt. These subsidiary groups have identified joint investment opportunities which warrant further investigation and preparation.
Development Issues: 

Environment, Natural Resource Management.

Key Points: 

The NBI-Operational Structure consists of the Council of Ministers of Water Affairs of the Nile Basin Countries (Nile-COM), which provides policy guidance and makes decisions on matters relating to the NM; the Technical Advisory Committee (Nile-TAC), which renders technical advice and assistance to the Nile-COM; and the Nile Basin Secretariat (Nile-SEC), which renders administrative services to the Nile-COM and Nile-TAC.

As the world's longest river, the Nile traverses almost 6,700 kilometers from its farthest sources at the headwaters of the Kagera River in Burundi and Rwanda to its delta in Egypt on the Mediterranean Sea.

Partner Text: 

CIDA, Nile Basin Initiative Secretariat, Nile Basin Trust Fund, World Bank.