The Nile River Basin Webinar

Webinar Recording

Governance Issues of the Nile Basin

A Technical Assessment: Looking back and discussing the future

When: August 19, 2020 | 10:30AM – 12:00PM EDT * | Agenda

The complex and varied uses of water are exemplified within the Nile River Basin, a transboundary water source with a long history of tension, conflict, but also cooperation. The Nile river drainage basin covers eleven riparian nations in northeastern Africa. Past treaties (1929 & 1959) will be discussed, as well as the 1999 Nile Basin Initiative (NBI), an intergovernmental partnership of ten of the eleven governments in the Nile Basin (Eritrea is an observer), and the Nile Basin Discourse, a network of civil society organizations supported by international development actors including the World Bank. 

These organizations have made significant strides in promoting cooperation within the region. However, tensions have flared, notably between Egypt and Ethiopia over the construction and filling of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), a hydroelectric power dam on the Blue Nile. This dam is meant to serve as a power source for a significant portion of Ethiopia’s population. 

Amidst these growing tensions, what are some of the best practices for developing collaborative and inclusive initiatives for water cooperation and peace building? Are there any win-win scenarios? While the situation gets significant attention in the political circles, this webinar will gather water professionals from several disciplines to discuss technical issues and suggest pathways for solutions.

Speaker Lange Schermerhorn’s Suggested Pre-Reading Material: 
9 Interesting Facts about the Nile River – Russell McLendon
Encyclopedia Britanica’s Study and Exploration of the Nile – Charles Gordon Smith

* Limit of 100 participants ; with Panel Q+A


Vincent Uhl
Moderator – Professional Hydrogeologist at UHL & Associates, Inc.

Mr. Uhl has a seasoned, field-based background that is invaluable for detailed analysis of groundwater systems as a basis for sustainability/recharge evaluations and optimal groundwater systems management. Mr. Uhl has taught graduate level courses in  Hydrogeology at the University of Maryland, the University of Akola in India, and at the New Jersey Institute of Technology in Newark, New Jersey. He has given many presentations at seminars, international conferences, universities, and for corporate forums.

Ambassador Lange Schermerhorn
Former Ambassador to Djibouti

Ms. Schermerhorn’s 35-year Foreign Service career included assignments in the Department of State, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, Iran, the United Kingdom, Belgium (twice), and lastly as Ambassador to the Republic of Djibouti (1998-2000) during which the year-long Arta reconciliation conference for Somalia sponsored by the Government of Djibouti took place.

Since retiring in 2001, Ms. Schermerhorn has continued her interest in Africa, serving as the Political Advisor to the commanding general of the US Central Command’s Djibouti-based Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa (CJTF-HOA) in 2003-04 and participating in various training assignments for the military. She has served on temporary assignments in American embassies in Eritrea, Kenya, and The Gambia and has consulted in Egypt, Somaliland, Djibouti, and Afghanistan. She has served as an election observer in Kenya, Nigeria, and Somaliland.

Dr. Peter McCornick
Executive Director of the Daugherty Water for Food Global Institute (DWFI)

Peter is the executive director of the Daugherty Water for Food Global Institute (DWFI) at the University of Nebraska, where he leads the institute in delivering on its vision of a water and food secure world, building its partnerships and collaborations in Nebraska, nationally in the US, and other key food producing regions in the world.  He is a tenured professor in the Department of Biosystems Engineering and a courtesy professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and the Robert B. Daugherty Chair of Water for Food.

Dr. Seifu Kebede
Professor of Hydrogeology at University of KwaZulu, South Africa

Professor Seifu Kebede Gurmessa obtained his BSc degree in Geology (1994) and MSc degree in Hydrogeology (1999) from Addis Ababa University. He obtained his PhD degree from the University of Avignon, France in 2005 in Isotope (tracer) hydrogeology. Between 1994 and 1999, he was a lecturer at the School of Earth Sciences, Addis Ababa University For about one year (2005-2006), after completion of his PhD work, he served the International Atomic Energy Agency as Junior Professional Officer. On return to Addis Ababa University in 2007, he was appointed as Assistant Professor of Hydrogeology and later in 2013, an Associate Professor of Hydrogeology. He joined the School of Agricultural Earth and Environmental Sciences and Center of Water Resources Research, University of KwaZulu Natal in September 2019.