Toward a Legal and Institutional Framework for Cooperation Along the Nile
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Cooperation in the management and use of the Nile is becoming indispensable given the demographic challenges ahead. A prerequisite for effective cooperation is the establishment of a legal and institutional framework, which Nile Basin states have yet to agree upon. This chapter presents the overall conclusions of the book and highlights the advantages of close cooperation for all 11 Nile Basin states. After sketching the development and current status of international water law, it summarizes the Nile’s cooperative and treaty regime, noting in particular the limits of application of the 1929 and 1959 Nile water agreements. The 2010 Cooperative Framework Agreement provides a sound basis, but amendments would be necessary to reconcile the interests of all the riparian states and align the Agreement with the principles of current international water law. The principle of equitable use would provide valuable guidance for the countries to negotiate the allocation of uses and benefits of the Nile and build flexibility into the use regime, and it can durably strengthen their coordination and cooperation with regard to the Nile. Overall, this chapter concludes that developments in international water law have already had significant influence on Nile riparian states’ negotiating positions. Yet, it remains for them to find the political will to lay down a legal foundation for basin-wide cooperation along the Nile.