Date of Award

5-1-2012

Degree Type

Dissertation

University or Center

Clark Atlanta University(CAU)

School

School of Arts and Sciences

Degree Name

Ph.D.

Department

Political Science

First Advisor

Dr. F.S.J. Ledgister

Second Advisor

Dr. Abi Awomolo

Third Advisor

Dr. Kasahun Woldemariam

Abstract

This case study examines how the ten riparian countries of the Nile can politically reconcile colonial era agreements that split the lion’s share of the world’s longest river between Egypt and Sudan. The intent is that the countries be able to advance their developmental needs in an efficient and sustainable way that encourages environmental justice, Pan-Africanism and regional cooperation to improve relations between Arab Africans and Sub-Saharan Africans. The study is based on the premise that due to rising populations, climate change, and current global economic challenges, along with the signing of a new Cooperative Framework Agreement by the upper riparian states in 2010, the status quo of Egypt and Sudan having veto power over all projects along the Nile, and the lack of engagement of the two countries in negotiations, can lead to crises in water and food security and possibly even armed conflict that could destabilize the region. Expert interviews, document studies and contextual analyses of case studies were used to gather and analyze information as to how to engage Egypt in the post-Mubarak era and incorporate both modern and traditional governing systems to reach a politically viable solution to resource distribution and management. The researcher found that all the riparian countries agree that the current paradigm of Nile water utilization and management is not sustainable and that they all agree that states are sovereign and should be allowed access to the Nile’s resources within their territories. However, there is dispute over two countries having veto rights as well as a guarantee of the volumes of water assigned to them. The researcher also found that current international laws on transboundary rivers are not definitive enough to avert a crisis in this region. The conclusions drawn suggest that all countries in the basin have to be active participants in reaching a solution; the solution has to be African in conception, implementation and execution, and it should involve innovative diplomacy, bringing to the table the positions of central and decentralized governing institutions, the indigenous people and non-state actors who will advance the interests of the region in a cooperative and comprehensive manner where all countries win.

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