Rwanda's Ntabana Heads Nile Basin Initiative

Rwandan national, Innocent Ntabana has been appointed Executive Director of the Nile Basin Initiative (NBI) Secretariat, taking over from Kenyan, Dr. John Rao Nyaoro.

Ntabana assumed office last week, following his appointment by the Nile Council of Ministers who convened at NBI’s headquarters in Kampala, Uganda. He becomes the 8th Executive Director since NBI was established in 1999, with overall responsibility for leading NBI’s continuous development, strategic planning, general management, coordination and control of all its operations.

NBI brings together ten countries, that share the Nile River, namely Burundi, DR Congo, Egypt, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda while Eritrea participates as an observer.

It is a tradition within the organization to rotate this top most position at the Secretariat, amongst the Member States, every two years. The rotation follows the alphabetical order of the names of the countries.

Mr. Ntabana has joined the Secretariat at a time when the NBI is in the process of developing the next 10-year journey, embedded in the 2017 – 2027 Strategy, an important management tool for the organisation.

“I wish to call for innovation in developing the new 10-year strategy in order to deliver benefits to our Member States and communities,” he said in his acceptance speech at the NBI Secretariat.

Ntabana comes with 30 years of progressive experience in the management of programs and projects in rural development, especially in agriculture, water resource management and agri-business development.

He worked with different international organisations including Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), African Development Bank (AfDB), World Food Programme (WFP), World Bank, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), among others.

Most recently, Ntabana was working as a Strategic Adviser in value chain development at the Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Resources in Rwanda. He is not entirely new to the organisation as he previously worked as Regional Project Manager for the Regional Agricultural Trade and Productivity Project from 2008 to 2012.

Nile Basin Initiative is a regional intergovernmental partnership which aims to manage and develop the shared Nile Basin water resources in a cooperative manner, share substantial socio-economic benefits and promote regional peace and security.

NBI is informed by the principle of subsidiarity, hence the three NBI Centers: A Regional Secretariat (Nile-SEC) based in Entebbe, Uganda is the executive arm responsible for facilitating cooperation among the Member States, joint management of the shared water resources as well as the overall corporate direction.

Two Subsidiary Action Programs namely the Eastern Nile Technical Regional Office (ENTRO) based in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and the Nile Equatorial Lakes Subsidiary Action Program Coordination Unit (NELSAP-CU) based in Kigali, Rwanda are responsible for preparing trans-boundary investment projects in three areas namely Energy, Water and Food.

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