Juba to hold the 21st Nile Council of Ministers meeting.

JUBA, June 6 2013 – - – Ministers in charge of Water Affairs in the Nile Basin countries will on June 20, convene in Juba, the capital of the Republic of South Sudan for the 21st annual Nile Council of Ministers (NILE_COM) meeting.

The annual regular meeting of the Nile Basin Initiative (NBI) governing body will deliberate on how to move the Nile cooperation  forward and discuss administrative issues such as assessing the performance of the NBI work plan for the previous year fiscal year, review and approval of the work plan and budget for fiscal year 2013/2014. The meeting will also review and endorse a number of strategy and policy documents. The official Nile Basin Website stated.

The Nile- COM meeting will also witness handover of the leadership of the Nile Council of Ministers from Rwanda to South Sudan.

South Sudan joined the Nile Basin Initiative (NBI) on July 5 last year taking number seven on the alphabetical listing order of the member states thereby assuming the  one year leadership of the body after Rwanda. The other members include Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Egypt, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda.

“South Sudan has stake on the Nile Basin waters, its usage, management and development”. Said Alier Bullen Ngong, the Director General of Water Resources and Management in South Sudan’s Water Resources and Irrigation ministry.

Ngong said South Sudan stands to benefit from the common basket funds that are within the regional block. He said South Sudan laying between downstream and upstream of the Nile , upon assuming chair of the regional block will use its position to coordinate with various position within the NBI to spearhead the existing cooperation.

Ngong made these remarks yesterday in Juba while chairing a meeting of the organizing committee at Water and Irrigation Board room.