Kampala — President Museveni and his Egyptian host Abdel Fattah el-Sisi yesterday made a case for the River Nile sharing countries furthering dialogue on cooperation as the only way to achieve "sustainable development" in the Nile Basin.
At a joint press conference at the Ittihadiya presidential palace in Cairo, President Museveni said, currently, the Nile is mainly used for water supply yet it can be exploited for other equally important purposes such as transportation.
"There used to be a cheap transportation route through Sudan via the River Nile, but during my flight here I was looking at my computer and saw that the distance is only 2,000 miles," President Museveni said. "But God created for us this highway (the Nile) which we should also use for transport."
He cited cases of Rivers Danube and Rhine in Europe whose transport potential has been fully utilised by European countries "and have helped in development because they are cheaper."
Uganda and Egypt are intertwined by River Nile, whose farthest source is said to be in Burundi. The river's catchment area spreads through territory of 10 countries, which all have a say in affairs of the river through the Nile Basin Initiative (NBI) based in Entebbe.
President Museveni invited President el-Sisi to Uganda, this time again, to visit the source of the Nile and see for himself firsthand the problems and opportunities on ground.
The two leaders also revealed they discussed ways of furthering cooperation in areas of mutual interest such as agriculture, transport, trade, and security, specifically combatting terrorism.
President el-Sisi, who has twice been in Kampala, cited the Uganda-Egyptian efforts to return peace to South Sudan as one of the "joint successful efforts by both Arab and African action."