26 June 2013

Uganda Begins CFA Ratification Process

Uganda's Minister of Water and Environment, Professor Ephraim Kamuntu, said Uganda plans to ratify the Nile Cooperative Framework Agreement (CFA) in the shortest possible time.

He said the old colonial treaty of 1929 and the Egypt/Sudan bilateral agreement of 1959 addressed only the interests of the users of the Nile and ignored the contributors of the water.

They were used to block development of hydro-electric power and food security projects in upstream countries including Uganda, he said.

These were not consulted and did not negotiate or sign the colonial era agreements.

The Minister said that his country, as one of the signatories of the Nile CFA, then had to ratify the Agreement.

He said his Ministry had already submitted the Agreement to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs which would pass it to the Cabinet and then to Parliament. "The process of ratification is on track," he said.

The Minister suggested that "Egypt should accept the CFA because shared resources can only be secured if the affected countries cooperate for mutual benefit".

The Cooperative Framework Agreement has already been signed by six countries following the two decade-long negotiations by the countries of the Nile Basin Initiative: Burundi, DR Congo, Egypt, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda; Eritrea participates as an observer.

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