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Water politics in the Nile basin

27 May 2013
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Sharing such a vital and potentially scarce resource as water is seldom easy. In the case of the Nile, water management has always been a delicate exercise. With a combined population of nearly 430 million spread over eleven countries (Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Sudan, South Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda), the Nile is one of Africa’s most complex cross-border river basins.

To date, however, there is no commonly agreed vision on how its waters should be shared. Several arrangements have been put in place but only a few have become meaningful tools for cooperation. Still, with no major event disrupting the status quo, water politics in the Nile has long remained relatively low-key. Growing pressures on the river, however, may be about to change that situation.