Egypt’s request to join the Nile River Cooperative Framework Agreement (CFA) has been rebuffed after it put conditions to joining the forum.

The statement was made on Wednesday by Bizuneh Tolcha Public Relations Director at the Ethiopia Ministry of Water, Irrigation and Energy (MoWIE) who says, Egypt’s offer to negotiate the CFA parameters was the major reason for the North African Nation’s failed effort to the join the Agreement.

The Nile river basin, which encompasses 10 countries, has been a bone of contention, with upper riparian countries including Ethiopia who despite being the origins of the water for the river system had felt for a while that the waters of the Nile River have been mainly utilized by the lower riparian countries of Egypt and Sudan.

Frustrated by Egypt’s and to a lesser extent Sudan’s insistence on colonial era treaties which gave exclusive rights to use the waters of Nile river as well as the lack of action in the Nile Basin Initiative (NBI) formed in 1999 which encompassed all Nile river basin countries, several countries formed a new initiative called the Nile River Cooperative Framework Agreement (CFA) in may 2010.

According to Tolcha CFA which has been signed by six Nile basin countries, three of which Ethiopia, Rwanda and Tanzania have ratified as domestic law aims to ensure equitable utilization of Nile by all basin countries.

Ethiopia which alone supplies about 85 percent of the waters of Nile river basin system, after decades of frustration has started to utilize the river for it’s hydro and irrigation needs.

In Particular, the ongoing construction of a 6450 Mega Watts Hydro dam on one of the tributaries of the Nile River has riled Egypt whose only source of surface fresh water is the river Nile. Enditem

Source: Xinhua/