On November 26th, 2019 Carleton’s Global Water Institute hosted a successful event at the Carleton Dominion-Chalmers Centre featuring a truly engaging talk given by the Egyptian Ambassador to Canada, H.E. Ahmad Abu Zeid, focusing on the future of the Nile River and associated transboundary water issues from an Egyptian perspective.
We were also very fortunate to have in attendance highly knowledgeable Ambassadors and Delegates representing Embassies of Sudan, Ethiopia, Tanzania, United Arab Emirates, Kuwait and Jordan, accompanied by many highly qualified water sector experts.
This was our third Water Conversations talk of the academic year.
During the Egyptian Ambassador’s talk, called “Nile Waters at Risk… Time for Water Diplomacy! An Egyptian Perspective”, audience members learned that the Nile River emanates from outside the Egyptian territories in the Equatorial and Ethiopian plateaus, and crosses 10 countries before reaching its downstream destination in Egypt, leaving that country and its 104 Million people in a significantly fragile water security situation.
Through his passionate presentation, the Egyptian Ambassador was able to bring the attending group on a fascinating journey through decades of water negotiations and agreements, developed to tackle allocations and sovereignty over the Nile waters, in light of the building and commissioning of the Grand Renaissance Dam (GERD) in Ethiopia.
With thoughtful and respected input from attending diplomatic guests, it became very clear that continued international water diplomacy is a critical process needed to bring about mutually beneficial solutions in the Region and to avert emerging water crises.
Egypt and it’s neighbours along this vital watershed have agreed to continue their efforts to promote positive engagement and confidence building in noble pursuit of a “Win – Win”, no harm solution.
For his willingness to provide insight into the Egyptian perspective, Carleton and the Global Water Institute wish to sincerely thank Ambassador Ahmed Abu Zeid.