ARUSHA (AA) – The Tanzanian cabinet has ratified the 2010 Comprehensive Framework Agreement (CFA) signed by upstream Nile Basin countries, known as the Entebbe Agreement.
“The Nile River Cooperation Framework will be ratified by the Tanzanian Parliament in next month,” Minster of State in the President’s Office, Professor Mark Mwandosya, told Anadolu Agency on Tuesday.
He said the ratification will lead to transformation on the Nile Basin Initiative (NBI), into a Nile Basin Commission that will set clear procedures of the Nile River water sharing.
“Two member states of Ethiopia and Rwanda have already ratified the CFA,” Mwandosya said.
He said that policymakers, scholars, researchers and other Nile Basin stakeholders are currently meeting in Nairobi to discuss the best and sustainable ways to use Nile River waters.
In 2010, upstream states Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda and Tanzania all signed the Cooperative Framework Agreement regulating Nile water use. Burundi signed on to the treaty in 2011.
The deal aims to replace a colonial-era treaty that gives Egypt and Sudan the lion’s share of river water.
“The transformation from NBI which has survived for 15 years will depend upon six member states of the NBI, eight member states ratifying or acceding to the CFA,” Mwandosya said.
In June, Tanzanian Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Bernard Kamillius Membe called for a review of the 2010 agreement in order to consider Egypt’s water needs.
Water distribution among Nile basin states has long been regulated by a colonial-era treaty giving Egypt and Sudan the lion’s share of river water.
Ethiopia, one of the upstream countries, says it has never recognized the treaty.
Relations between Ethiopia and Egypt have been strained due to a multibillion hydroelectric dam now being built by Addis Ababa on the Nile’s upper reaches.
Egypt has repeatedly voiced concern about the dam’s potential impact on its traditional share of Nile water. Ethiopia, however, insists the project won’t affect Egypt’s water supply.