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Cairo Strengthens Cooperation With Nile Basin Countries in ‘Water Management’

Cairo Strengthens Cooperation With Nile Basin Countries in ‘Water Management’

Sunday, 12 June, 2022 - 09:15
The Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam. (AFP)

Egypt is keen on cooperating with the Nile Basin countries in the field of water resources management, Egyptian Minister of Water Resources and Irrigation Mohamed Abdel Aty announced on Saturday.

The Minister said that bilateral cooperation with the Nile Basin and African countries is one of the main axes of Egyptian foreign policy, in light of Egypt’s human potential and various technical and institutional expertise in the field of water.

He stressed that such cooperation contributes to achieving sustainable development and raising the standard of living of citizens, in addition to facing African challenges such as the population increase, the spread of poverty, illiteracy and diseases.

Abdel Aty was speaking at the conclusion of two training programs organized by the National Water Research Center in Cairo.

The Minister handed over certificates to 46 trainees, from Nile Basin and African countries, in the field of “Environmental Hydrology in Arid and Semi-arid Areas,” and “Integrated Water Resources Management.”

“The training represents an opportunity for communication between the people of the African continent and for achieving integration between water engineers in African countries,” Abdel Aty said.

He stressed that the two courses would raise and develop the technical capabilities of African researchers and specialists, and transfer the experiences gained during the program for application in their countries.

For their part, the trainees said they were pleased to participate in the training programs, expressing appreciation for the field visits to water resources projects.

The trainees stressed that Egypt is one of the distinguished countries in the field of water management and irrigation sciences.

The training program came while Ethiopia and downstream states Egypt and Sudan failed to reach an agreement over the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam.

GERD is set to be the largest hydroelectric dam in Africa but has been a center of dispute with downstream nations Egypt and Sudan ever since work first began in 2011.

Cairo has reiterated its demand that Egypt, Ethiopia, and Sudan reach a legally-binding agreement to fill and operate the dam.

The last round of talks between the three countries in Kinshasa ended in early April 2021 with no progress made.

In mid-September, the UN Security Council called on the three countries to resume African Union-led negotiations, stressing the need to reach a “binding agreement on the filling and operation of the dam within a reasonable timetable.

Ethiopian officials have recently stated that the third filling will take place in August and September.

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