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East Africa: News – Ethiopia Calls On Nile Basin Riparian States to Expedite Coming Into Force of CFA

Addis Abeba — Demeke Mekonnen, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia, called on all the Nile Basin riparian states to “expedite the coming into force of” the Cooperative Framework Agreement (CFA). The CFA “outlines principles, rights and obligations for cooperative management and development of the Nile Basin water resources.”

FM Demeke made the remark at a three-day first regional high-level conference of the Nile Upper Reparian Countries cooperation conference, which kicked off in Addis Abeba today, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Minister of Water and Energy, Habtamu Itefa, State Ministers of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Tesfaye and Ambassador Birtukan Ayano, Deputy Mayor of Addis Abeba City, Zantirar Abay, as well as delegates from Tanzania, Uganda, Kenya, and South Sudan, and representatives from various water institutes and high-level guests are attending the conference.

The Nile river, which supplies livelihood to millions of people who live along its banks in Ethiopia alone, and accounts for two-thirds of the country’s surface water, Demeke said. However, Nile River is “confronted with both man-made and natural issues that affect sustainable use of the river, exacerbate water stress in the region, and cause tensions over the utilization of the available water.”

Explaining the issues preventing the sustainable use of the Nile river, demeke added that “on the one hand, threatened by the ever-increasing water demand due to population growth, environmental degradation, and climate change, among other things.”

Furthermore, the “tendency to assert hegemony over the shared water resource, on the other hand, continues to be a barrier to the equitable and sensible utilization of the Nile waters,” Demeke emphasized.

He recalled the actions taken by the upper riparian nations on the Nile in the past years, saying that “riparian states have sought to address these challenges and have made modest strides to conserve the shared resource while trying to ensure fairness in its utilization.”