Breaking Waters, the Birth of a New Nile State


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Breaking Waters, the Birth of a New Nile State

  1. 1. Breaking Waters: The Birth of a New Nile State . STEPS Centre Water Seminar Brighton, 22 February 2011 Ana Elisa Cascão Stockholm International Water Institute – SIWI (Sweden) Center of African Studies – ISCTE (Portugal)
  2. 2. Nile River Basin THE REGION 10 riparian states 160 million inhabitants Underdeveloped economies Conflict-stricken region Low levels of regional integration
  3. 3. Nile Basin Hydropolitics SECURITISATION HYDRO-SOVEREIGNTY COOPERATION <ul><ul><li>Uneven distribution </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Inequitable utilisation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Water = Politics </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Water = National Security </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Water = Sovereignty </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Power asymmetries </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Hydro-Hegemony </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Problematic water agreements </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Past: conflicts </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Water-Sharing: political priority </li></ul></ul>
  4. 4. Nile Basin Political Economy pre-2011 <ul><li>Egypt: </li></ul><ul><li>‘ Hydraulic state’ still expanding </li></ul><ul><li>Monopoly of the Nile waters </li></ul><ul><li>Stronger and more diversified economy </li></ul><ul><li>Monolithic and stable political system </li></ul><ul><li>Support of international community </li></ul><ul><li>Upstream: </li></ul><ul><li>Agriculture-based economies (rainfed) </li></ul><ul><li>Weaker but growing economies </li></ul><ul><li>Shadow of conflicts still present </li></ul><ul><li>Changing geopolitics </li></ul>
  5. 5. Nile Basin Political Economy pre-2011 Changing realpolitik : new geopolitical actors, corridors, dynamics, ... ‘ Land grabbing’: Growing economic interest for Nile natural resources Regional integration: Towards economic multilaterism Unilateralism: Unilateral hydraulic development
  6. 6. Hydropolitics pre-2011 Official ‘ diad’ UpstreamBloc
  7. 7. 2010: Cooperation and changing power relations Trojan Horse of upstreamers
  8. 8. 2011: ‘Revolutions’ in the making in the Nile Basin Velvet divorce in Sudan Popular uprising in Egypt
  9. 9. Southern Sudan: the 11th Nile riparian Border demarcation (as 1956)
  10. 10. ...where the White Nile bends
  11. 11. Southern Sudan: the political process the post-referendum negotiations
  12. 12. Nile Waters: What is in it for Southern Sudan?
  13. 13. A midstream or an upstream riparian? Jonglei Canal
  14. 14. When Oil or Water politics mix
  15. 15. Meanwhile.... in northern Sudan <ul><li>Windown of opportunity for the end of ‘Nile Valley Unit’ </li></ul><ul><li>Back to the origins: irrigation! </li></ul>
  16. 16. Egypt, revolution and Nile <ul><li>No major changes in internal Nile politics, image, discourse </li></ul><ul><li>Possible positive change in foreign policy – ‘between equals’ </li></ul><ul><li>Negative change also possible: a return to hydraulic nationalism </li></ul>
  17. 17. Egypt vs. Upstream: power is relational <ul><li>Egypt, the stable hegemon: is now past history </li></ul><ul><li>Upstreamers and the Sudan(s) might take advantage of Egypt’s current weakness to promote a tipping point in the Nile hydropolitics </li></ul>
  18. 18. Crystal Ball <ul><li>Southern Sudan: might become the kingmaker in the upstream- downstream Nile hydropolitics </li></ul><ul><li>Northern Sudan: a pure midstream riparian </li></ul><ul><li>Egypt: potential for new foreign policy in the long-term </li></ul><ul><li>Today: upstreamers might be already taking a shortcut and speeding change in the Nile Basin </li></ul><ul><li>What occurs when the counter-hegemonic riparians get stronger and the hegemon weaker: the transformation, decline or end of the hegemonic configuration? </li></ul>
  19. 19. Thank you! [email_address]