CAIRO: Egypt’s candidacy as chairman of the African Ministers’ Council on Water for the 2023-2024 session has been unanimously approved.
Egyptian Minister of Water Resources and Irrigation Mohamed Abdel-Aty confirmed the appointment.
It came during his participation in a remote extraordinary meeting of AMCOW.
In a speech during the meeting, Abdel-Aty praised the members of the Executive Council, stressing Egypt’s keenness to support development in all African countries through the implementation of water projects.
Egypt stands ready to exchange experience and provide technical support in the field of water resources to all African countries, he said.
Karl Hermann Gustaf, the current president of the council and Namibian minister of agriculture and water, stressed the importance of the resource as “one of the most important elements of sustainable development in the world,” adding that the Nile River is the main lifeline in Egypt, “for which there is no alternative.”
He also called for activating the council’s role in achieving cooperation among African countries in the field of shared water management. During the meeting, the ministers also endorsed the recommendations submitted by the council’s technical advisory committee.
The Executive Council is the institutional body concerned with water issues under the umbrella of the African Union. The meetings of the technical advisory committee of the council were held on Oct. 6 and 7, with the participation of representatives from the Egyptian Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation.
Since 2011, Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia have been negotiating an agreement on filling and operating the Renaissance Dam, which is intended to be the largest source of hydroelectric power in Africa, with a capacity of 6,500 megawatts.
In March 2015, the leaders of Egypt and Sudan and the prime minister of Ethiopia signed a declaration of principles agreement with the aim of overcoming differences.
Ethiopia considers the dam necessary, while Egypt considers it a critical threat, as the Nile provides it with about 97 percent of its irrigation and drinking water.
Although Egypt and Sudan urged Ethiopia to postpone its plans to fill the dam’s reservoir until a comprehensive agreement was reached, Addis Ababa announced on July 21 last year that it had completed the first phase of filling the reservoir with a capacity of 4.9 billion cubic meters.