The strategic partnership will establish a framework for cooperation and implement a sustainable strategy for a variety of capacity building activities for research, training and education. The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) responds to the significant need for professional and institutional capacity in the region. Limited capacity is one of the most serious obstacles to further development of the water sector in the Nile Basin as a whole and for the individual riparian countries in particular. The agreement also stresses the importance of creating a collaborative environment through which water professionals can exchange ideas, best practices and lessons learned, and recognizes the successful role that NBCBN has played in this respect over the last ten years.
The MOU was therefore signed to confirm the mutual mission and ambition of the organizations involved to further strengthen cooperation and to promote joint activities for building the capacity of the water sector of the Nile region. During a recent meeting in Entebbe, the NBI and NBCBN agreed to focus on a number of priority areas, such as climate change research, groundwater exploration and development, and the further development of the Nile Basin Decision Support System (NB DSS), including the formation of the NB DSS user community and training curriculum.
The NBCBN network was initiated in 2000 under The Netherlands Government funding through a partnership between the Hydraulics Research Institute (HRI) in Egypt and IHE Delft Institute for Water Education. It has since become a regional knowledge network of over 500 water professionals active in the Nile Basin with focal institutes (nodes) in each of the countries. The network’s aim is to strengthen the human and institutional capacity of the riparian countries through building strategic partnerships among water professionals, government authorities, and education, training and research institutions.
The establishment of the NBCBN was endorsed by the Nile Council of Ministers (NILE-COM) in charge of Water Affairs in the Nile Basin countries in its meeting of March 2002, and the network was placed under the umbrella of the NBI. The network secretariat under the leadership of the Network Manager, Dr. Amel Azab, is hosted by HRI. The NBCBN is coordinated by a Steering Committee composed of the country coordinators of the 10 Nile member countries - which will become 11 with South Sudan as a new member - and representatives of the NBI and the hosting organization.