The Nile River is one of Ethiopia’s main natural resources, and one of the most important. In the past we have been unable to use this considerable natural resource effectively. Now, following a decade of impressive growth, we are finally in a position to do so. The Nile, of course, links a total of 10 countries in the Nile Basin, and we recognize the vital role that shared interests and development can play in benefitting us all.
This is why we believe cooperation is the rational and strategic way forward for all the countries of the Basin, as demonstrated by the Cooperative Framework Agreement (CFA). It is time to throw off the legacy of colonialism, which had bedeviled the exploitation of the Nile Basin for so long, and finally move into a new era of cooperation, with real and sustained development.
The Nile is the longest river in the world, with a length of about 6,650 km. The river flows through Burundi, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Egypt, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania, and Uganda, with Eritrea also part of the drainage area of nearly three and a half million square kilometers. From the river’s annual flow, three tributaries originating from Ethiopia, notably the Blue Nile or Abay, contribute 86% of the water flow and 95% of the fertile soil that is swept down the river. The rest of the water comes from the White Nile. These two main branches of the Nile join at Khartoum.