Uganda is to ratify the CFA according to News Vision from Uganda. The CFA to be binding it needs six riparians` ratification to the minimum. So far six states have signed and Ethiopia had take the lead of ratifying it. Recently South Sudan has reaffirmed to sign the CFA and D R Congo is likely to sign and ratify the Agreement. The CFA is the first multilaterally negotiated and signed Nile Treaty in the entire history of the Nile Basin. By so doing it will declare equitable and reasonable utilization of the Nile waters and nullify the so-called previous bilateral or colonial agreements which favors water recipient states in the downstream.
By Gerald Tenywa
Uganda is to ratify the Cooperative Framework Agreement (CFA), a new treaty that is seeking to replace the controversial colonial agreements governing the Nile, according to Professor Ephraim Kamuntu, the minister of water and environment.
Kamuntu told New Vision that the old agreements of the Nile were being used to block development of hydro-electric power and irrigation agriculture that would enhance energy security and food security.
He also said the old agreements were archaic because they addressed only the interests of the users and ignored the contributors of the water.
“The CFA was signed by member countries including Uganda,” Kamuntu told New Vision. “By law the CFA has to be ratified and that is under the Ministry of foreign affairs who will then submit to Cabinet and finally to Parliament.”
He added, “The Ministry of Water and Environment has already submitted to the Ministry of Foreign affairs and the process of ratification is on track.”
The upstream states did not participate in the negotiations of the 1929 (between Egypt and Britain-Uganda’s former colonial master) and 1959 agreement (between Egypt and Sudan).
“We were not consulted and we did not negotiate or sign the colonial era agreements,” said Kamuntu, adding, “Egypt should accept the CFA because shared resources can only be secured if the affected countries cooperate for mutual benefit.”
For two decades, the CFA was discussed by countries of the Nile Basin Initiative (NBI) namely Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi, DR Congo, Ethiopia, Sudan and Egypt. Eretria participates as an observer. South Sudan is the newest member of NBI.