The Nile Basin Initiative – an 11-member organization that supports cooperation in the utilization of the water resources of the shared river Nile has got a new Executive Director.
Eng. Sylvester Anthony Matemu, from the United Republic of Tanzania officially began his two-year term of office as the Executive Director of the NBI Secretariat, replacing replaces Professor Seifeldin Hamad Abdalla, from The Sudan.
The handover ceremony took place on Wednesday Aug 18, at the NBI Secretariat in Entebbe.
Eng. Matemu has extensive record in the public sector, which covers a period of 38 years. He served in different capacities including be chairman of various Technical Advisory Committees at national, regional, and international levels; board member of various water-related institutions; and advisory roles to ministers responsible for water, higher education, communication, science, and technology.
He has vast experience in international and national trans-boundary water management including water law.
In his inaugural remarks as Executive Director of NBI, Eng. Matemu expressed appreciation for the warm welcome he received upon his arrival in Uganda.
Choosing, “Together, we will win’ Matemu repeatedly insisted that his main task will be to ensure that the body achieves the objectives as set out in its ten year 2017-2027 Strategic plan.
He said: “We need to work hard and diligently in order to meet the expectations of the people of the eleven countries.” He also thanked the Government of the United Republic of Tanzania for the trust that was placed in him and pledged to work hard to further strengthen the cooperation among NBI Member States.
The handover event was witnessed by Dr. Florence Adongo, the Director of the Directorate of Water Resources Management at the Ministry of Water and Environment (Uganda) in her capacity as the Nile Technical Advisory Committee (Nile-TAC) member for Uganda, which is the host country of the NBI Secretariat.
The tenure of NBI Executive Director of the NBI Secretariat is for two years and is on a rotational basis upon nomination by Nile Basin Member States.
She expressed gratitude to Professor Seifeldin Hamad Abdalla, the outgoing ED, noting his significant contribution to the growth of the institution, “despite the challenges of COVID-19 that plagued his term.”
Development partners also expressed gratitude to the government of Uganda’s recent move to expand the land accommodating NBI from 5 hectares to 13 hectares.