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Egypt seeks win-win in sharing Nile water

By Simon Deng

Countries along the Nile Basin should mitigate issues over Africa’s longest river which are seen straining bilateral relations in the region, said Mamdouh Ahmed Antar, the chairman of the Nile Water sector, Egypt.

Antar participated in the 29th meeting of the Nile Council of Ministers held in the South Sudanese capital Juba in late November.

“Egypt is very committed to cooperate with all countries to prove more to win-win solution to all kind of differences that could separate us,” Antar said.

“It is an opportunity to narrow whatever gap that may arise in our bilateral relations and contribute in removing all kind of barriers,” he said.

Antar said his country is moving towards discussions with all countries along the Nile River “for enhancing contact among our countries in putting aside all misunderstanding that may hinder regional cooperation.”

According to Habtamu Itefa, the Ethiopian Minister for Water Resources, all countries should use the Nile River for a common prosperity.

He noted that his country is working to ensure the river improves electricity coverage in his country.

“The coverage of electricity is less than 15 percent whether it is in urban or rural areas, we have ample opportunity water resources, making access energy safe drinking in a way that we can have appropriate utilization of our resources,” said Itefa.

“Water is live and we should try to make water sustain the live of water itself, the future lives of all Ethiopians and brothers in our neighborhoods so that we have common goal of prosperity.”

Manawa Peter Garkuoth, the South Sudanese Minister for Water and Irrigation noted that promoting and sustaining the Nile cooperation is an important pillar in relationship among the countries.

“One of the challenges we face in the Nile Basin, the issue of capacity shortage in transboundary water resource management,” Garkuoth said.

“Addressing this and other challenges we face in the basin requires cooperation from member states, we need to cooperate and work together hand by hand, we will not walk this walk alone but instead joining hands to hands with strategic guidance with other ministers in charge of water affairs in the Nile basin.”

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