Eritrea Could Benefit from NBI: Eastern Nile Technical Regional Office

Addis Ababa  October 09/2018 Eritrea could make up for the loss it has incurred in accessing the infrastructural advantages it could have enjoyed by joining the other Nile riparian countries in the Nile Basin Initiative (NBI), Eastern Nile Technical Regional Office said.

The office noted that if Eritrea joins the Upper Riparian countries, it can actively participate in the establishment of the Commission of Nile Riparian Countries.

The recent rapprochement between Ethiopia and Eritrea could provide a good opportunity for the later to join and benefit from the infrastructural development programs of the Nile Basin Initiative, the office reported.

Feki Ahmed Negash, the NBI’s Eastern Nile Regional Technical Office Manager told ENA that Eretria was at a disadvantageous position by refraining from joining the Nile Basin Initiative.

He added that as a sovereign state Eritrea has the right to either join the Nile Basin Initiative or opt for an observer status.

Feki Ahmed added that over the last 20 years Eretria was supporting the positions taken by Egypt and Sudan regarding the use of the waters of the Nile.

He reminded that when the 6 Nile Riparian States signed an agreement on the equitable utilization of the resources of the Nile, Eritrea sided with Egypt in vehemently opposing the Initiative.

However, if Eritrea joins the intuitive, it would be better for the country to join the upper riparian countries to benefit from the agreement and infrastructural development cooperation between the riparian countries.

Moreover, Eritrea’s unanimity with Nile Basin Initiative countries, this could help to fast track the establishment of the Nile Commission.

Feki Ahmed said Ethiopia, Rwanda and Tanzania have already signed the agreement while Burundi, Kenya and Uganda are in the process of signing the agreement. He added that South Sudan will also follow suit.

He noted that if Eretria insists on remaining in the group of the lower riparian countries, her decision wills in no way affect her stance to sign the agreement.