In a statement sent to The Reporter, the council noted that during the ministerial meeting, Sudan assumed the leadership of the NBI, succeeding its southern neighbor, the Republic of South Sudan. Sudan will chair both the Nile Council of Ministers and the Technical Advisory Committee of the NBI for the next one year, the statement confirmed. The Nile Council of Ministers also endorsed Kenya's appointment of the next Executive Director of the Nile Basin Initiative (NBI) Secretariat based in Entebbe, Ugandan John Rao Nyaoro. Nyaoro becomes the 7th executive director effective September 1 for the next two years. He succeeds Teferra Beyene (Eng.), an Ethiopian national.
The changes in the leadership and top management are in line with the NBI practice of rotating the two positions among member states in alphabetical order. Accordingly, while the position of Nile-COM chair rotates each year, that of the Executive Director rotates every two years. As an outcome of the meeting, the ministers decided to stick to the Nile cooperation "as the only way forward to sustainably manage the Nile Basin water resources in the wake of shared risks and challenges such as climate change and environmental degradation," the statement quoted.
The Reporter also learnt that the ministers urged Egypt to unfreeze its participation in the NBI activities after reviewing guidelines, budgets and financial obligations of member states. The Nile Council of Ministers (Nile-COM) comprises ministers in charge of water affairs in the Nile Basin Countries - Egypt, Ethiopia, Kenya, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda. It is the highest decision-making organ on all political and developmental matters relating to the NBI and meets once a year.