Nile Cooperation – Key Milestones

Recognizing that cooperation on the Nile is crucial to address the multiple development challenges and take advantage of opportunities offered by the Nile Basin for win-win outcomes, Nile Basin countries have been undertaking different attempts at cooperation for more than 45 years.

Formal Nile Cooperation in recent times can be benchmarked from the Hydromet project that was started in 1967, focusing on hydrometeorological surveying of the Great Lakes region. Members were Burundi, Egypt, Kenya, Rwanda, Sudan, Tanzania, and Uganda while Ethiopia and DR Congo were observers

Running parallel to Hydromet was ‘Undugu’ from 1983 to 1992 the focus of which was on the establishment of a Nile Basin Economic Community. Its members were Egypt, DR Congo, Sudan, Uganda, Burundi, and Rwanda. Ethiopia and Kenya as observers

Undugu was followed by the Technical Cooperation Committee for the Promotion of Development and Environmental Protection of the Basin (TECCONILE) in 1993. TECCONILE focused on technical cooperation (environmental and water quality). Its membership was Egypt, Sudan, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda, and DR Congo.

However, all the above initiatives were affected by a lack of inclusivity (with some riparian countries not represented in the effort) and lack of funding to implement the Nile Transboundary Action Plan under TECCONILE. Above all, these efforts did not anchor cooperation efforts in a comprehensive institutional setting and through a Shared Vision Objective.

On February 22, 1999, all Nile Basin countries came together and for the first time in the Basin‘s history, established the unprecedented Nile Basin Initiative (NBI) to work towards attaining their Shared Vision objective: ‘To achieve sustainable socio-economic development through equitable utilization of, and benefit from, the common Nile Basin Water resources’.

Timeline abbreviations

  • TECCONILE – Technical Co-operation Committee for the Promotion of the Development and Environmental Protection of the Nile Basin
  •  Nile-COM – Nile Council of Ministers
  • NRBAP – Nile River Basin Action Plan
  • ICCON – International Consortium for Cooperation on the Nile
  • ENTRO – Eastern Nile Technical Regional Office
  • NELSAP-CU – Nile Equatorial Lakes Subsidiary Action Program Coordination Unit
  • CFA – Negotiation of the Cooperative Framework Agreement
  • SVP – Shared Vision Program Project
  • NBDF – Nile Basin Development Forum
  • ISP – Institutional Strengthening Project
  • CIWA – Cooperation in International Waters in Africa
  • UNECE – Convention on the Protection and Use of Transboundary Watercourses and International Lakes
  • MDGs – Millennium Development Goals
  • EAC – East African Community
  • NBD – Nile Basin Discourse
  • GWP-EA – Global Water Partnership Eastern Africa
  • LVBC – Lake Victoria Basin Commission
  • GERD – Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam
  • TNC – Tripartite National Committee
  • UNWC – United Nations Water Convention
  • DoP – Declaration of Principles
  • SDGs – Sustainable Development Goals
    ET –  Ethiopia, RW – Rwanda, TZ – Tanzania, UG – Uganda, EG – Egypt,
    SD – Sudan, KE – Kenya, BI – Burundi, SS – South Sudan, ER – Eritrea

1991
May
End of the Cold War
July
El-Niño event in the Horn of Africa
1992
March
UNECE Water Convention adopted
October
El-Niño event continued
December
Nile-COM2 established
December
TECCONILE1 launchedd
1993
February
1st Nile 2002 Conference, Aswan
1994
January
Nile 2002 Conference, Khartoum
May
ER independence
1995
February
NRBAP approved
1996
February
Nile 2002 Conference, Kampala
1997
January
Announcement of the Toshka Project, EG
January
Institutional and Legal Framework Project (D3) launched
May
UN Watercourses Convention adopted
August
Drought in the Horn of Africa, caused by El-Niño
1998
March
Drought continued
May
ER-ET War begins
June
First meeting of the Nile-TAC
1999
September
NBI Secretariat launched
2000
July
EAC re-established
August
Strategic Action Program approved
September
MDGs agreed
2001
January
ENTRO launched
June
ICCON 1 donors meeting held in Geneva
2002
February
Nile Basin Initiative Act passed
October
Final Nile 2002 Conference, Nairobi
October
NELSAP-CU launched
2003
February
Nile Basin Trust Fund established
October
Negotiation of the CFA started
December
NBD established
December
GWP-EA constituted
December
El-Niño event continued
2004
April
Massive floods in ET & SD
October
1st SVP Project launched
2005
January
First set of cooperative investments
July
Establishment of the LVBC
2006
November
1st NBDF
2007
February
Annual Nile Day launched
July
Historical floods in SD
2008
June
Spike of global food prices
December
SVP closed
December
ISP project established
2009
February
NBI’s 10-year anniversary
March
Inauguration of the Merowe Dam, SD
November
Inauguration of the Tekeze Dam, ET
December
El-Niño event in the Horn of Africa
2010
May
CFA opened for signature in Entebbe, ET, RW, TZ & UG sign
May
EG & SD freeze participation in NBI
May
KE signs the CFA in Nairobi
May
Inauguration of the Tana-Beles Hydropower Project, ET
September
El-Niño event continued
2011
January
Beginning of EG uprising
February
BI signs the CFA in Bujumbura
April
Announcement of the construction of the GERD
July
SS independence
July
Drought in the Great Horn of Africa
2012
January
CIWA formed
July
SD unfreezes participation in NBI
July
SS joins NBI
October
Inauguration of Bujagali Falls Dam, UG
2013
January
Nile Cooperation for Results Project launched
January
Completion of the Roseires Dam heightening, SD
June
ET ratifies the CFA
August
Massive floods in SD
August
RW ratifies the CFA
December
Inauguration of ET-SD Power Transmission Line
2014
August
UNWC enters into force
September
Formation of the TNC
December
Closure of Nile Basin Trust Fund
2015
January
Drought in the Horn of Africa, caused by El-Niño
March
TZ ratifies the CFA
May
Signing of the DoP in Khartoum
October
SDGs agreed
2017
July
1st Nile Basin Heads of States Summit, Entebbe
2018
May
Nine-Party Outcome Document on GERD signed
July
End of ER-ET War
July
Massive floods in SD
2019
January
Year of the Nile Basin launched Jan 27-28
January
NBI’s 20-year anniversary Feb 22
#NileDay2019; #MyNileStory; #YearofNileBasin; #NBIat20
  • RT @JenniferJSara1: Thanks to the #NileBasin Initiative, flood forecasts are shared throughout the Nile region, benefiting 1.7 MILLION peop… 2019-07-15

  • RT @JenniferJSara1: Thanks to the #NileBasin Initiative, flood forecasts are shared throughout the Nile region, benefiting 1.7 MILLION peop… 2019-07-14

  • RT @JenniferJSara1: Thanks to the #NileBasin Initiative, flood forecasts are shared throughout the Nile region, benefiting 1.7 MILLION peop… 2019-07-14

  • RT @JenniferJSara1: Thanks to the #NileBasin Initiative, flood forecasts are shared throughout the Nile region, benefiting 1.7 MILLION peop… 2019-07-14

  • RT @JenniferJSara1: Thanks to the #NileBasin Initiative, flood forecasts are shared throughout the Nile region, benefiting 1.7 MILLION peop… 2019-07-13

  • Thanks to the #NileBasin Initiative, flood forecasts are shared throughout the Nile region, benefiting 1.7 MILLION… https://t.co/pBvLR2Dl1g 2019-07-13