New Nile Pact a Welcome Move

Published on 24th March 2015

Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia’s move to defuse tensions around Ethiopia’s construction of a gigantic dam on the Blue Nile is a welcome move. President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi of Egypt, Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir and Ethiopian Prime Minister Halemariam Desalegn signed a declaration pledging to better share the Nile’s waters. Ethiopia has said the project is necessary to produce the country’s much-needed electricity.

The Nile waters conflict has threatened to upset the geopolitical balance along the path of the river.In June 2013, the deposed Egyptian leader Mohammed Morsi almost declared war with Ethiopia over the project. Mr. Sisi has however struck a more conciliatory note with the Ethiopians, while Sudan has been acting as an intermediary.

The Nile debacle highlights the need to rethink binding and obsolete colonial pacts that have lost relevance to respective African country development. It also highlights the interdependence of African nations hence the need to foster peace, intra-Africa interaction and resource stewardship. It is through constructive dialogue that conflicts within Africa can be avoided. Africans must talk to each other as opposed to talking at each other.

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