Unpacking Nile basin investment benefits for regional countries

The ongoing construction activities of Rusumo Hydropower plant. / Photo: Courtesy.

Member States of Nile Basin Cooperation have prepared joint bankable investment projects worth more than $6.5 Billion aimed at contributing to food security, energy and water security as well as poverty alleviation in the region.

Implementation of some of these projects has been completed, some in implementation while others are in the pipeline.

The Nile Basin Initiative (NBI) is an intergovernmental partnership that brings together 10 countries linked to River Nile and these are; Rwanda, DR Congo, Egypt, Ethiopia, Kenya, Burundi, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda that recently celebrated Nile Day.

Doing Business has reviewed at least 30 investment projects that have the potential to benefit up to 30 million inhabitants of the Nile Basin.


Within the Nile Basin, Rivers Nyabarongo and Akanyaru form the River Akagera that flows into Lake Victoria.

With such water bodies, 0.7 per cent of the total Nile Basin area is located in Rwanda.

Some nine investment projects prepared by the cooperation are at various stages of development and operation.

Upon completion, the projects will contribute to Rwanda’s water, energy and food security, as well as environmental sustainability.

The investment projects are to benefit 706,940 direct beneficiaries, supply 333 million cubic metres and generate 113.5 MW added to the national grid.

The investments projects benefits also include 620 km transmission lines, four sub-stations, 5,981 hectares irrigated land and 765 hectares of watersheds to be restored.


Burundi has 0.5 per cent of the total Nile Basin area.

As the ultimate upstream country, Burundi has the farthest headwaters of the Nile as it has the Ruvyironza River which flows into Lake Victoria through the Ruvubu and Akagera rivers.

The country is participating in the joint implementation of 12 trans-boundary investment projects.

 Upon completion, these projects will benefit 1.4 million direct beneficiaries and generate 65.1 MW hydropower.

At least 599 million cubic metres of water has to be supplied, 401km Transmission lines be constructed while 43,923 hectares has to be irrigated and 765 hectares be restored.

 DRC Congo

At least 0.8 per cent of the total Nile Basin area is located in DR Congo.

The trans-boundary investment projects have to benefit over million people, add 136 MW hydropower to the national grid, and build 757.7 km of transmission line as 5,664 hectares have to be irrigated.


11.5 per cent of the total Nile Basin area is located in Ethiopia.

Flowing from Ethiopia’s Lake Tana, the Blue Nile joins the White Nile at Khartoum in Sudan, together with the Baro-Akobo Sobat and the Tekeze-Seitit tributaries.

The life of the country is attached to the River Nile culturally, politically, and economically.

Ethiopia and Sudan Power grids are interconnected through a 510 km transmission line from Ethiopia to Sudan.

Ethiopia obtains between $10 and $15 million in electricity sales revenue annually.

Ethiopia has 7,500 hectares of 20,000 hectares jointly agreed upon among Egypt, Ethiopia and The Sudan in irrigation projects, benefiting 57,000 persons.

Over 1.4 million households in Ethiopia and Sudan got access to electricity through the Ethiopia-Sudan Power Transmission Interconnector.

Over 240,000 persons are benefiting from integrated watershed management implemented on 85,000 hectares while others have to benefit from 680 safe water points constructed.


Kenya is an upstream country of the Nile Basin, which borders Lake Victoria in the country’s west.

1.8 per cent of the total Nile Basin area is located in Kenya.

The investment projects will benefit 4.5 million people, supply   21.774 million cubic metres, add 125.475 MW to the national grid, build 224 transmission lines and two sub-stations while 48,515hectares have to be irrigated.

South Sudan

South Sudan is located almost wholly within the River Nile Basin whereby 17.7 per cent of the total Nile Basin area is located in South Sudan.

The White Nile and the Sudd wetlands are the main features of the country that support agriculture.

The investments projects are set to add 1,185.8 MW to the national grid, build 2,674 km transmission lines,   four sub-stations and irrigate 48,717 hectares.


45.6 per cent of the total Nile Basin area is located in Sudan.

At least 1.4 million households in Sudan and Ethiopia are accessing electricity due to Ethiopia-Sudan Power Transmission Interconnector.

Figures show that 300 MW of electricity is imported from Ethiopia.

Over 7,600 hectares irrigated land is benefitting 50,000 farmers.


3.8 per cent of the total Nile Basin area is located in Tanzania.

Over 1 million have to directly benefit from the investments, 63.85 MW added to the national grid, while 1098.2 KM transmission lines and two sub-stations have to be constructed.

 Over 53,984 hectares of irrigated area will benefit residents.


7.7 per cent of the total Nile Basin area is located in Uganda.

The projects have to directly benefit over 1.7 million beneficiaries, produce  40.03 million cubic metres clean water, generate 54.035 MW  to the national grid,  build 556.5 KM Transmission lines,   and two  sub-stations and irrigate 23,381 hectares.


Related Post

Latest Post