On August 8-10, 2016, members of the Blue Peace Middle East Community embarked on a learning journey to explore and understand cooperation in the Nile River Basin in East Africa. The delegation from the Middle East included senior policy makers, academic and technical experts and leading members of the Blue Peace Media Network.
Strategic Foresight Group organized the Learning Journey to Nile River Basin in coordination with the Nile Basin Initiative (NBI), headquartered in Entebbe in Uganda. Following the Learning Journey to Senegal River Basin, held in August 2015, this was a continuation of the ‘exchange of experience’ activities under the Blue Peace Initiative. This initiative is sponsored by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency.
The journey was conducted over a period of three days in Uganda during which the participants were able to appreciate the functioning of NBI and learn about its history and mandate. In addition, six other African River Basin representatives also participated in this learning journey which helped the Middle Eastern participants to get an overview of successful water cooperation across Africa. They included representatives of River Basin Organisations from Komati River, Gambia River, Congo River, Senegal River, Volta River, Orange-Senque Basin.
The Journey introduced participants to new experiences and gave insights regarding cooperation and efficient transboundary water management achieved by the riparian countries of the Nile River basin and the other African basins. In the course of the journey, a detailed discussion on updating the Water Cooperation Report by Strategic Foresight Group was also conducted.
The most significant feature which the participants discovered in the case of NBI and also in the case of the other African River Basins was their emphasis on cooperation and the importance of a strong political will. The participants also noted that the riparian members of the Nile River were developing countries that were trying to find a common solution to water scarcity and economic development through cooperation over the common water resource they all shared.
There was also an opportunity for participants from the Middle East to share their experiences on working on promoting water as a peace building mechanism and creating awareness about the importance of trans-boundary water cooperation in the region through various grassroots level activities.
To read the full report on the Learning Journey, please click here.
To view presentations made at the Learning Journey, please click here.