South Sudan to host the regional Nile Basin Initiative meeting on Friday
South Sudan's ministry of irrigation and water resources on Wednesday announced plans to host the 29th Nile Council of Ministers (Nile-COM) meeting expected to be held in Juba on Friday 26th.
The Nile Basin Initiative is a regional institution with 10 countries: Burundi, DRC Congo, Egypt, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania, and Uganda.
Manawa Peter Gatkuoth, the Minister of Irrigation and Water Resources in South Sudan told reporters in Juba on Wednesday that the country would host the regional Nile Basin Initiative meeting on Friday 26th.
"The government of the Republic of South Sudan is the host of this year's 29th Nile-COM meeting which takes place on Friday 26th. In addition ministers for water affairs from the member states and members of the diplomatic corps shall attend the opening session of the Nile-COM meeting. During this occasion key Nile Basin applications and the Nile Basin Atlas will be launched by the guest of honor Vice President James Wani Igga," he announced.
Minister Gatkuoth says the Council of Ministers from the member states would discuss on Friday the annual plan for the Nile-COM, including approving the budget for next year.
"The expected outcome from the Nile-COM would include approval of the annual work plan and the budget of the Nile Basin Secretariat, and the recommendation on the Nile Tax as well as the presentation of the regional and transformed policies of the Nile-COM confederation and approval from the Council of Ministers on the 26th of November," Minister Gatkuoth said.
Gatkuoth says several meetings on the Tax for groundwater steering committee are also taking place in Juba, including a meeting for Tax members Secretariat which will all be approved by the Council of Ministers on Friday.
"There is an ongoing meeting now for the Tax for underground water steering committee here in Juba, and also there is the other meeting of the Tax Members Secretariat to develop the agenda and also the other issues that the Council of Ministers would come and approve," said Gatkuoth.
Engineer Sylvester Anthony Matemu, the Executive Director for the Nile Basin Initiative says seven ministers from the region have already confirmed their participation in the Nile Basin Initiative conference and shall arrive on Thursday.
"This governance meeting has a lot of blessings and many ministers would like to come to Juba. Up to now, seven ministers have confirmed to come and the others will participate virtually. On behalf of the Nile Basin Secretariat fraternity, I would like to thank the government of the Republic of South Sudan for really inviting us and for giving us a warm welcome and cordial reception since our arrival. We are happy that all preparations are going on well and all of us happy to achieve all the planned activities in the week," Engineer Matemu said.
South Sudan is a member state of the Nile Basin Initiative and the opening session of the Nile Council of Ministers will be attended by ministers for water affairs of the member states.