Tanzania water minister says country will stick to Nile Basin pact

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Addis Ababa, 4 June 2014 (WIC) - The Tanzanian government has said it will continue abiding by the Nile Basin Comprehensive Framework Agreement (CFA).
Tanzania’s Water minister Jumanne Maghembe reiterated his country’s commitment to the CFA while winding up debate on his ministry’s 2014/15 budget estimates in Tanzanian parliament on Monday.

The statement comes days after Tanzania’s Minister for Foreign Affairs, Bernard Membe, indicated that foreign ministers within the Nile Basin Initiative will meet in July, this year, to review the agreement and give priority to Egypt on the use of the Nile River.

Ethiopia and Rwanda have already ratified the CFA by their respective parliaments while Burundi, Kenya and Uganda were on advanced stages of ratification. Tanzania, which signed the agreement on May 14, 2010, has also started the process of ratification.

“Tanzania is now in the process of ratifying the protocol to the agreement,” Prof Maghembe was quoted as saying by the country’s The Citizen Reporter.
Following the remarks of the Tanzanian foreign ministry, officials of the Ministry of Water, Irrigation and Energy of Ethiopia had contacted their Tanzanian counterpart for clarification.

“The water minister has assured us that there is no change of Tanzania’s official position regarding the Comprehensive Framework Agreement,” Alemayehu Tegenu, minister of Water, Irrigation and Energy, told WIC.
The CFA, which was signed by six of the Nile Basin countries including Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, Burundi, Rwanda and Uganda, will establish a permanent Nile River Basin commission and also replaces the colonial-era treaties of 1929 and 1959 which grant Egypt veto rights on upstream projects.

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