Egyptian President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi - Reuters
CAIRO – 22 June 2017: Egyptian President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi started his speech in the Nile Basin Summit, held in the Ugandan capital Kampala on Thursday, by thanking Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni for his efforts to hold the first ever summit comprising all Nile Basin countries’ leaders.
The summit comes in parallel with the 50th anniversary of the first cooperation between Nile Basin countries.
“The summit is a historical event and a clear message to our people and anyone following the summit sessions that the Nile river combines us and does not separate us,” Sisi added.
The Egyptian president stressed that common interests of Nile Basin countries are achieved by benefiting from their natural and human resources to build and develop their societies, and that they need to cooperate and repulse conflicts now more than ever to face challenges such as water scarcity and climate change.
Sisi said that Egypt realizes the developmental needs of Nile Basin people and would assist them to fulfill those needs as it assisted them in their anti-colonization struggle in the past as well as supporting peace and stability in their countries.
The president praised the achievements of the Nile Basin Initiative (NBI), launched in 1999, throughout the years highlighting that Egypt contributed to the founding of the initiative in order to strengthen cooperation among member countries and to avoid any possible conflicts, which would achieve integrated development.
Sisi stipulated that infrastructure projects are a must on the river as only 84 billion cubic meters out of 1,600 cubic meters flow down to the waterway while the rest is wasted. Sisi clarified that 97 percent of Egypt’s water reliance comes from the Nile and that overpopulation decreased the individual’s annul share to 640 cubic meters.
Egypt suffers from a water deficit amounting to 21.5 billion cubic meters. The country manages to bridge it by recycling 80 percent of its water, which is amongst the highest rates in the world.
The president affirmed that Egyptian people are cautious against any act incurring any possible negative impact on Egypt’s water security.
Sisi stated that Egypt is participating in the summit to build trust with its fellow Nile Basin countries and to establish a mechanism for prior notification aligning with international standards to ensure transparency over projects built on the Nile river.
NBI is setting a development agenda to be completely executed by 2063 serving the 250 million people living on the Nile’s banks, called the 2063 Agenda.
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