Egypt is keen on supporting the Nile Basin states, and this keenness was behind the Egyptian proposal for constructing a new channel to connect Lake Victoria in Uganda with the Mediterranean Sea, crossing a number of Nile Basin states, said Egypt’s Minister of Water Resources and Irrigation Mohamed Abdel Aty.
Abdel Aty added in press statements following his presence at the 22th training on Hydraulic Engineering of River Basins, that Egypt is looking for greater cooperation for increasing the benefits of water resources,in order to boost the opportunities for development in Africa.
The project of the transport corridor to connect Lake Victoria with Alexandria port, crossing over South Sudan, and Sudan is expected to benefit also Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, and the Democratic Congo, in addition to Egypt, Sudan, and South Sudan. The Egyptian proposal was issued in January 2013 and was supported by the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD).
Abdel Aty said that the mutual cooperation between states of the Nile Basin shall be based on the mutual benefits and not affecting others. He explained that the basin states face many developmental challenges, pointing out that Egypt showed flexibility to reach to the needed cooperation.
He also added that his ministry is working on boosting cooperation in the issue of water resources with other Nile Basin states, and the total sum of the investments that were implemented reached EGP 117m, including the project of protecting Kasisi in Uganda from floods, as well as digging water wells in South Sudan.
The last few years witnessed differences between Egypt on one side, and Ethiopia and other Nile Basin states on the other, regarding the agreements that organise the use of the water of the Nile River between the states of the basin. One of these differences was regarding the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam in the Benishangul-Gumuz region of Ethiopia, on the Blue Nile River that Egypt has expressed concerns that the construction of the dam could negatively affect its historic Nile water share of 55bn cubic metres, which it has had access to since the historic 1959 agreement between Egypt and Sudan.