Rejection by Egypt and Sudan to endorse a Nile Water Basin Cooperative Framework (NWBCF) that aims at guaranteeing water security for the upper riparian countries of the Nile basin will derail regional cooperation in the continent. Egypt and Sudan maintain that they hold absolute rights to use the Nileís water under agreements reached in 1929 between Egypt and Britain and in 1959 between Egypt and Sudan.
As the region moves towards harmonization of trading arrangements, free movement of business persons, joint implementation of inter-regional infrastructure programmes as well as institutional arrangements, Egypt and Sudan should rethink the 1959 Agreement which did not involve the other eight Nile Basin countries. A multilateral treaty binding all riparians will have to be negotiated among the ten riparian states, based on equity and fairness.
Africa continues to stagnate developmentally for clinging to colonial models of education, governance, trade patterns and treaties which served colonial interests but are now overtaken with time.Kenyan Tea farmers, for example, are questioning section 12a of the Tea Act that forbids them from uprooting the crop in favour of more lucrative staple, hence trapping them in a cycle of poverty.
All irrelevant treaties binding Africans must consequently be revised and be modelled to benefit African people as well as spur wealth creation and development in the continent.
It is a shame that over 200 Somali MPs attending a regional summit in Kenyaís capital to review the performance of Somaliís transitional government should be stranded. If the alleged sponsors of the summit: IGAD, UNDP and EU are denying responsibility, who convened the meeting? Is Africa that poor that it cannot meet the hotel and travel expenses of her own? Is this the spirit of regional integration?
Africa must forge homegrown solutions to its problems. Depending on donor largesse shall subject the continent to external interest groups whose priorities keep on shifting. With the prevailing global financial crisis, it is time that Africa looked inward.
Comment on this article!