Eastern Nile Technical Regional Office
The Nile Basin Initiative (NBI) is an inter-governmental organization dedicated to equitable and sustainable management and development of the shared water resources of the Nile Basin. NBI Member States include Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Egypt, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda. Eritrea is as an observer. The NBI was established on February 22, 1999 in Dar es Salaam, by Ministers responsible for Water Affairs of each of the nine Member States. The Nile Council of Ministers (Nile-COM) agreed on a Shared Vision which states: ‘to achieve sustainable socio-economic development through the equitable utilization of and benefit from the common Nile Basin water resources’.
The Nile-COM, which is the governing body and supreme policy and decision making organ of the NBI decided on a Secretariat (Nile-SEC) in Entebbe, Uganda with a responsibility of continuing the process of building cooperation among Member States and building capacity to conduct basin-wide water resources management. They also agreed upon a ‘Strategic Action Program’ (SAP) comprising of two complementary programs the ‘Shared Vision Program’ (SVP) and the ‘Subsidiary Action Program’ (SAP) to guide Nile cooperation.
The SVP comprised of eight basin-wide projects, with a major focus on building trust, confidence and capacity in member countries as well as creating an enabling environment for trans-boundary investments. The Shared Vision Program was largely completed during 2009.
The SAP is the investment arm of NBI focusing on preparation of investment projects that are trans- boundary in nature. The overriding goal of the investment agenda is to contribute to poverty alleviation, reverse environmental degradation and promote socio-economic growth in the riparian countries. This program is managed by two sub-basin offices, one in the Eastern Nile region for the Eastern Nile Subsidiary Action Program (ENSAP) and the other in the Nile Equatorial Lakes region for the Nile Equatorial Lakes Subsidiary Action Program (NELSAP). The two offices are located in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and Kigali, Rwanda respectively. The Subsidiary Action Programs are in advanced stages of preparation of investment projects.
Member States provide technical guidance to NBI, through their representation on the board, the Nile Technical Advisory Committee (Nile-TAC). The latter comprises of senior water officials (two per Member State). The Nile-TAC also that provides technical advice to their respective water Ministers and the Nile-COM in general; it acts as an interface between the Nile-COM and NBI on one hand as well as Development Partners on the other.
To facilitate in-country coordination of NBI’s activities, each of the Member States established a National NBI Focal Point institution, referred to as the NBI Office. Among other things, the NBI office provides a forum for in-country coordination of NBI’s projects and activities; assists with promoting coordination and integration with other relevant national activities and initiatives as well as with logistical arrangements for incoming NBI missions. The staff of the NBI office includes National Inter-agency and Inter-sectoral representatives, and others recruited on full time basis.