East Africa: Nile Basin Initiative Appoints Director From Sudan

Dar es Salaam — The secretariat of the Nile Basin Initiative (NBI) has appointed, Prof Seifeldin Hamad Abdallah from Sudan a new executive director who took office effective April 8 this year will lead the Secretariat for the next two years.

In a statement released on Tuesday, May 28, by Media Relations Expert Ms Elizabeth Agiro stated a Sudanese national, Prof Abdallah was most recently the chairman of the Water Resources Technical Organ in the Sudan, a position he assumed in July 2012.

He was responsible for transboundary water issues of Sudan including the Nile and its tributaries, among other things. Prior to that, he served as the minister of Water Resources from December 2011 to July 2012.

Speaking about his plan for the secretariat, Prof Abdallah emphasised the need to fast-track the stalled political process between Nile Basin countries i.e. the re-engagement of Egypt and Eritrea to ensure the Nile Basin family in the first order and then move forward on the political process.

"I want to focus on the commitment of the countries to NBI and also find a way forward regarding the stalemate on the re-engagement of Egypt and attain full membership and the engagement of Eritrea.

In order for citizens to reap the benefits of the technical track, the political track is very important in setting a solid foundation for the technical track. What we are doing on the technical track can only be translated as investment benefit on the ground for the Member States if we ensure that NBI is one Nile - one family - and moving together," he said.

Prof Abdallah, fondly known as Prof Seif, made major contributions to initiating and preparing agreements that have enhanced cooperation among the Nile (and IGAD) countries, preventing conflicts and/or reducing tension and hence improving the future economic and political collaboration between millions of people in the region.

His greatest successes were "The Declaration of Principles on Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD)" between Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan, signed by the respective Heads of State in Khartoum on March 23, 2015.

He joins the Secretariat during 'The Year of the Nile Basin' declared so by the Nile Council of Ministers. His many years of experience in the water sector, coupled with his association with NBI as a member of the governance body, will no doubt contribute to achieving the objectives of the declaration under the motto: 'Putting Water at the heart of Regional Transformation.'

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