Entebbe Agreement Summit Convenes


In the first meeting of its kind since 2010, Uganda’s capital Kampala will this week host a summit of Nile Basin heads of states to resolve differences on the Entebbe Agreement.

In 2010 Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda and Tanzania signed the initial Entebbe Agreement which seeks to affirm certain international shares of Nile waters, outlining principles, rights and obligations for co-operative water resource management among member states.

Downstream nations Egypt and Sudan did not initially sign up to the accord, claiming it degraded pre-existing rights and quotas but have, since 2015, engaged with the Agreement’s process.

Uganda’s Daily Monitor reports today that Egyptian president Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi and Ethiopian premier Hailemariam Desalegne, have both confirmed their attendance. It is understood that the summit, which was due to commence today (June 21), has been “moved to tomorrow at the request of Ethiopia for yet unknown reasons”.

Egypt and Ethiopia have a particularly fractious history around Nile water resources, not least because of Ethiopia’s contentious Grand Renaissance Dam. The $4.2 billion USD, 6,000-megawatt megastructure, which is scheduled for completion next month, will be the largest structure of its kind in Africa.

Egypt has expressed concern that the dam, situated on the Blue Nile near the Ethiopian-Sudanese border, will reduce the river’s flows and jeopardize water supply. A Tripartite National Committee, comprising experts from Ethiopia, Egypt and Sudan, was created in 2015 to address some of these concerns.