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A case for unity

Davis Mugume
Experts give their thoughts on why it is imperative for Nile riparian countries to stick together.
22.03.2019  |  Kampala, Uganda
Boats near the Aswan Dam in Egypt. (photo: Unsplash | Hamed Taha)
Boats near the Aswan Dam in Egypt. (photo: Unsplash | Hamed Taha)

Also known as “the father of African rivers”, the Nile is a source of livelihood for millions of people. Experts believe shared interests in the river ought to help harness relationships and unity among the people who depend on it.


Mary Goretti Kitutu Kimono, Uganda’s State Minister for the Environment:

“As countries when we have this umbrella of working as a team under the NBI (Nile Basin Initiative), it helps to resolve certain conflicts, it helps to bring about transparency, it helps to protect this very important resource. Besides the source of livelihood, the Nile is important for recreation and tourism.”


Dr. Salman M.A. Salman, an academic researcher and consultant on international water law:

“Cooperation in good faith, and on the basis of equality and respect is the only way for harnessing relations between the Nile countries.”


Nhial Tiitmamer, a Senior Policy Analyst and Researcher at Sudd Institute, a South Sudan think tank:

“The River Nile is either a uniting factor or a dividing factor depending on whether the countries can cooperate and share the water resources in an equitable manner. For example, hydropower generated in Ethiopia can be exported to neighbouring countries Sudan, South Sudan and Eritrea, among others, to power economic development.”


Dr. Anne Itto, former Minister in South Sudan and a member of the East African Community parliament:

“They have interacted with each other for thousands of years through intermarriages, trade, peace deals, and this is a basis for unity. We speak the same language, we intermarry, we have common interests of survival and well being.”

Eric Ntalo, a writer and tourism expert:

“There is a need for a cultural festival that brings all those crossed by the Nile to share the beauty of their respective nations because the Nile binds cultures, nations and races.”

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