Sustainability of the cooperation framework of the Nile Basin initiative (1999-2011)
The research study set out to assess the sustainability of the Cooperation Framework of the Nile Basin Initiative (NBI) 1999-2011.The study considered this period because the riparian countries of Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda, formally established the NBI. This time scope was thought to be enough for the new Nile Basin Cooperation Framework Agreement to be signed and ratified by all the Nile Basin countries. The sustainability construct of the NBI had been overlooked by earlier studies yet it is a critical element in bringing to reality any meaningful cooperation Framework. Information was collected through the use of various techniques and methods such as interviewing key informants. The tools used to collect data included interview guides while purposive and convenience sampling, and review of documented material were also used. The study discovered that the Cooperation Framework is a strategy, to create a vision, which is then transformed into a strategic programme that has Shared Vision Programmes ( SVPs).All this is done pending a formal legally binding framework. Even Egypt has toned down her war rhetoric and is gradually accepting the cooperation framework as a viable future programme for equitable utilisation of the Nile water. Among others, the study concluded that despite the optimism showed by respondents, the NBI Cooperation Framework faces serious challenges. Many of the Subsidiary Action Projects (SAPs) and SVPs are still on the drawing board. Some countries are currently facing insurgency, extreme poverty and drought. These challenges are not conducive to implementing a cooperation regional programme. It was then recommended that unless the different NBI projects at country and regional levels are implemented, the Cooperation Framework put into law rather than cooperation agreements and the equitable utilisation of water expeditiously agreed upon, the NBI Cooperation Frame work might not be sustainable. Although the hitherto challenges might make it imperative for the countries to cooperate and make the NBI a success.