Preparations Underway for the 7th Nile Basin Development Forum
Preparations are in full swing for the 7th Nile Basin Development Forum (NBDF), set to take place at the Speke Resort Munyonyo in Kampala, Uganda, from October 16th to 18th, 2023. This forum, organized every three years by the Nile Basin Initiative (NBI) in collaboration with development partners, serves as a vital platform for various stakeholders to discuss Nile Cooperation and the sustainable management of shared water resources.
The NBI’s Executive Director, Sylvester Matemu, highlighted the essential role that the NBDF has played since its establishment in 2006, promoting cooperation among countries sharing the Nile River.
During a recent media briefing, Matemu unveiled this year’s theme, “Deepening Nile Cooperation: Accelerating the Achievement of SDGs in a Changing Climate.” This theme underscores the urgent need for collaboration in addressing the challenges posed by climate change. The forum will address critical issues like the water-energy-food connection, ecosystem sustainability, climate change adaptation and mitigation, financing and investment, and transboundary water governance.
Matemu emphasized the significance of this theme, stressing that cooperation among Nile Basin Member States is crucial for their socio-economic prosperity. He pointed out that unilateral actions do not lead to lasting solutions or peace and highlighted the growing threat of climate change to sustainable water resource management and development.
The 7th NBDF will adopt a hybrid format, allowing both in-person and online participation. This approach aims to involve a wide range of stakeholders, including government officials, researchers, academia, development partners, civil society, the private sector, and the media. Matemu underlined the media’s important role as key stakeholders in conveying the benefits and challenges of Nile cooperation to the region’s 272 million citizens.
The forum will also mark the launch of a Basin Management Plan, reflecting the commitment of Nile Basin Member States, Development Partners, and the broader community to address water-related challenges and work together to achieve Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.
The 7th Nile Basin Development Forum has received support and appreciation from various quarters, including the Government of Uganda, the World Bank – CIWA, the Government of Germany through GIZ, Member States, the private sector, participants of the Nile Walk, and students. As the world grapples with the increasing impacts of climate change, the forum emphasizes the importance of cooperation and sustainable development for the entire region.
Stakeholders participating in this event are taking proactive steps towards a more resilient, prosperous, and peaceful Nile Basin. Matemu emphasized that cooperation remains the cornerstone for sustainable development within the Nile Basin, ultimately contributing to socio-economic development for the entire region. The Nile Basin includes 10 member countries: Burundi, DR-Congo, Egypt, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania, and Uganda.