Preparations Completed for the 7th Nile Basin Development Forum

Preparations Completed for the 7th Nile Basin Development Forum
Launch of the Nile walk, which was one of the pre-forum events

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Preparations are in high gear for the 7th Nile Basin Development Forum (NBDF) scheduled at the Speke Resort Munyonyo from October 16th to 18th, 2023. Held every three years, this flagship event, in partnership with Development Partners, is a crucial platform for multi-stakeholder engagement on Nile Cooperation and the sustainable management and development of shared water resources.

Sylvester Matemu, the Executive Director of the Nile Basin Initiative (NBI), which is organizing the forum, emphasized the vital role that the NBDF has played since its inception in 2006, fostering cooperation among the countries sharing the Nile River.

In a media briefing with editors on Friday, Matemu revealed this year’s theme, “Deepening Nile Cooperation: Accelerating the Achievement of SDGs in a Changing Climate,” underlining the pressing need for collaboration in the face of climate change impacts.  He noted that the event will address critical issues such as the water, energy, and food nexus, ecosystem sustainability, climate change adaptation, and mitigation, financing and investment, and transboundary water governance.

Matemu stressed the significance of this theme, emphasizing that transboundary water cooperation is key to the socio-economic prosperity of Nile Basin Member States. He noted that the theme shows that unilateral actions do not facilitate lasting solutions or peace. Furthermore, the theme underscores the growing threat posed by climate change to sustainable water resources management and development, necessitating immediate action to build the resilience of the Nile Basin.

The 7th NBDF will be held in a hybrid format, allowing in-person and online participation. “This inclusive approach recognizes the importance of involving a wide range of stakeholders, including government officials, researchers, academia, development partners, civil society, the private sector, and the media,” Matemu said. According to Matemu, they decided to engage the media because it plays a crucial role as one of NBI’s key stakeholders.

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“Their factual and accurate reporting ensures that the benefits of Nile cooperation, along with the common challenges, are effectively communicated to the 272 million Basin citizens.” Matemu asserts that by promoting transboundary water cooperation and raising awareness on key issues, journalists serve as essential conduits of information for the public.

The 7th NBDF will also mark the launch of a Basin Management Plan, a testament to the commitment of the Nile Basin Member States, Development Partners, and the wider community to address water-related challenges and work collaboratively to achieve Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.

The event has garnered 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, among other stakeholders. As the world grapples with the increasing impacts of climate change, the 7th Nile Basin Development Forum stands as a promise of hope, emphasizing the importance of cooperation and sustainable development for the entire region.

By engaging in this event, stakeholders are taking proactive steps towards a more resilient, prosperous, and peaceful Nile Basin. Matemu says cooperation remains the cornerstone for sustainable development within the Nile Basin, ultimately contributing to socio-economic development for the entire region. The Nile Basin has 10 members including Burundi, DR-Congo, Egypt, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania, and Uganda.