Nile Basin member countries

The 10 countries of the Nile River Basin comprise about 300 million people, or nearly a third of Africa’s total population. About 150 million people live within the basin confines. Poverty is widespread and up to 100 million people live on less than a dollar a day within the basin. Coupled with this there are huge disparities in wealth distribution; the GNP/capita of the richest basin state is nearly 10 times that of the poorest. Accompanying this entrenched poverty and inequality there are acute development crises including the HIV/Aids pandemic, violent conflict within and across borders and the massive loss of life caused by water-related diseases and malaria. The Nile Basin is therefore a hugely complex development area. Interventions in this region have the potential to make huge improvements to the livelihood security of the poor with effects that could reach into almost every sub-region of the continent.

As the world’s longest river system and one of the most complex in both human and physical geography, the Nile is a focus of international development attention. Covering 3.2 million km2, its agro-ecological zones range from high rainfall plateau lands in Ethiopia to arid and semi-arid lowlands including the Nubian desert, one of the driest on Earth. It also takes in globally significant swampland in Sudan’s Sudd and the huge ecological diversity in freshwater ecosystems in the Great Lakes region.

The two main branches of the river—the Blue (Abbay Wenz) and the White Nile—converge at Khartoum, but are wholly different in character and in their contribution to main Nile flows. The Blue Nile rushes down from its source in the Ethiopia highlands in a huge annual spate and provides some 80% of the main Nile flow, whereas the White Nile—regulated by the Sudd and other wetlands—provides a flatter flow regime across the year. Both these regimes have had enormous significance in the development of human society along the course of the river over many millennia. In the last 100 years or so, they have presented planners and engineers with a major challenge of regulation in order to harness the river’s benefits and to mitigate costs associated with its destructive force.

Here is the list of the 10 Nile Basin Countries:


D.R. Congo









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