Ethiopia takes over leadership of Nile Basin Initiative
(EBC; October 13, 2017)- Ethiopia has assumed leadership of the Nile Basin Initiative (NBI), taking over from Uganda. Ethiopia will chair both the Nile Council of Ministers and the Nile Technical Advisory Committee of the NBI for the next one year, The Independent reported.
The new chairman of the Nile Council of Ministers is Dr. Eng. Sileshi Bekele, Minister of Water, Irrigation and Electricity of Ethiopia, who is replacing Uganda's Sam Cheptoris.
The changes in leadership were confirmed at the end of the 25th Nile Council of Ministers of Water Affairs (Nile-COM) meeting held in Entebbe, Uganda on Thursday October 12. Kebede Gerba, State Minister, for Water, Irrigation and Electricity of Ethiopia represented Sileshi.
The Nile-COM is the highest decision-making organ on all political and development matters relating to the Nile Basin Initiative. The meeting was attended by Ministers in charge of Water Affairs from Burundi, Sudan and Uganda. Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda and Tanzania sent representatives.
The changes in leadership are in keeping with the NBI tradition of annually rotating the position among member states. The next such gathering, the 26th Annual Nile Council of Ministers Meeting, is scheduled to take place in Ethiopia in 2018.
Also on the NBI calendar, according to a statement issued after the Entebbe meeting, is the 5th Biennial Nile Basin Development Forum that will be hosted by Rwanda October 23-25, 2017. Rwanda will also host the Nile Media Awards ceremony on October 23, 2017 as well as a Strategic Dialogue Forum between NBI and development partners on October 26, 2017.