The Nile basin is one of the richest river basins in terms of history and heritage, it is also one of the most conflicted river basins over trans-boundary water problems. These conflicting issues are addressed from a political perspective. Therefore, solutions are never implemented in a sustainable manner because of deeper social, cultural and identity related issues that are not featured in the political conversations. These forgotten perspectives are deeply rooted within each nation psyche and require dialogue and connection in a way that enables integration and synergy of these different –sometimes diverging- perspectives.
Facilitating these conversations requires going beyond the political level and digging deeper into culture, human ecology, national identities, history, colonialism, past traumas healing and collective social wisdom of nations. These deeply rooted elements are central to reach sustainable integration and peace between the riparian countries. This integration and peace will lead the Nile Basin communities to be more resilient and help regenerating the Nile ecology, which will in turn sustain this resilience even more.
Because of the complexity of the Nile Basin, alternative means of cooperation -beyond politics- through civic engagement are at the heart of sustainable trans-boundary cooperation in the region.
Transboundary cooperation is no longer a ‘luxury’, it is an urgent need; a proof of that is rising importance of livelihood issues where the Nile interconnection is central yet non-existent e.g. Climate Change adaptation, large infrastructure projects and regional trade.
By creating this platform, we will create spaces that will enhance points of interaction and therefore the opportunities for collaboration among civil society.