Master\'s Project Presentation

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Master\'s Project Presentation

  1. 1. Cooperation Over Water in the EasternNile Basin: Obstacles & Opportunities Farah Hegazi April 14, 2011 Advisor: Dr. Erika Weinthal 1
  2. 2. Background• Egypt depends on the Nile for 96% of its water• Sudan relies less on the Nile because of precipitation• Ethiopia relies mainly on rain-fed agriculture• 1959: Nile Waters Treaty• 2010: Nile River Basin Cooperative Framework Agreement (CFA) Background• Wichelns et al.’s proposed framework – Move away from focusing on water allocation – Intra-regional trading system • Ethiopia: hydropower and livestock • Sudan: rice & wheat • Egypt: fruits and vegetables 2
  3. 3. Purpose of Research Assess the political factors in the Eastern Nile Basin that would hinder Wichelns et al.’s framework Research Methods• Feasibility Study – Elements of SWOT analysis• Data Sources – Existing literature – 11 semi-structured interviews 3
  4. 4. What Are the Obstacles? 1959 Agreement• Bilateral Nature – Little trust between upstream and downstream countries – Quantity-based allocation• Egypt unwilling to give up its allocation 4
  5. 5. The 1959 agreement is an obstacle to Wichelns et al.’s framework.Cooperative Framework Agreement• All riparians agree on the principals of the CFA• Article 14b is the primary source of contention 5
  6. 6. Article 14b “…not to significantly affect the water security of any other Nile Basin State” vs.“…not to adversely affect the water security and current uses and rights of any other Nile Basin State” So, What Does This Mean?• Two Options – Continue with the status quo • “…cannot possibly monopolize what is not in their control ... they … understand that to keep the unequal status quo will not work” (Interview, Yacob Arsano, November 24, 2010.) – Adopt the original text of Article 14b 6
  7. 7. The CFA is not an obstacle to Wichelns et al.’s framework. Alternatives to Military Action• “Water wars” is attention-grabbing• Several authors and politicians have predicted a war over water in the Nile Basin. 7
  8. 8. Alternatives to Military Action“I wouldn’t be categorical in saying that Egypt wouldn’t use force, but I keep thinking that it’s an impossibility.” “If large social violence occurred for other reasons, then it would be easier to see how water could be used in the service of some other reason, but water as the reason, no.” “A load of baloney.” Virtual WaterEgypt’s total crop virtual water import: 30.5 km3 Zeitoun et al., 2010 8
  9. 9. Military action cannot be considereda barrier to Wichelns et al.’s solution. Other Obstacles “It would be very easy to tell a farmer [in Egypt] to stop growing rice and start growing oranges, however, it needs commitment from the government … If you introduce a new crop to a farmer with sustainable markets they will change. The problem is that the Egyptian Government changes their crops every few years … without [a] stable and mature agriculture policy, there is no way they can change because people won’t trust them.” 9
  10. 10. Other Obstacles“Comparative advantage is not something thatone declares and the other accepts. There mustbe a process of negotiation” (Interview, YacobArsano, November 24, 2010). Conclusion Wichelns et al.’s framework is not feasible. 10
  11. 11. Recommendations• Cooperation “can begin at home” (Waterbury, 1997, 286). – Improve irrigation efficiency in Egypt• Project-by-project approach – Create a shift in thinking• Egypt and Sudan should sign the CFA – Article 14b relegated to annex – Opportunity to participate and exert influence – “… a logical cul-de-sac” (Mekonnen, 2010, 440) Thank you to Dr. Erika Weinthal, Dr. Marc Jeuland, and my interviewees. 11
  12. 12. Reflections• South Sudan• Mubarak’s resignation 12

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