African Challenges to Multilateralism: the Nile between History, Conflict and Cooperation
Since the dawn of recorded history, the Nile is considered to be the lifeblood of Egypt. Its role was crucial to the point that the ancient Egyptians developed a (remarkably accurate) calendar based on its flooding. Still today, the Nile remains the life line for the region’s agriculture, transportation and tourism. In the last decade, competition for the Nile Basin’s freshwater has been growing markedly.
In 2011, Ethiopia started to build the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) along the Nile River without prior notification to Egypt and Sudan, thus generating a long-decade diplomatic crisis among the three countries. Indeed, today the tensions between Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan over the GERD risk undermining the stability of the entire Horn of Africa, which has already been severely strained by the Tigray crisis, the Sudanese transition to democracy, and the ongoing civil war in South Sudan. Despite various mediation attempts by international bodies, and at a time when the GERD is about to start functioning, no agreement on dam’s operation is yet in sight.
Speakers will focus on each of these aspects, with the aim of connecting the ongoing dynamics with the past and the future of one of the most important and iconic rivers of the world.