Dissertation: Egypt Is Going

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¶ … Egypt is going to take in order to secure its interest in the Nile waters and in the Nile Basin countries, especially after the change of regime and the uprising of the Arab nations. Following the January 2011 uprisings in Egypt, the government attempted to resolve the longstanding issues through various mechanisms that failed and the political leadership was replaced by the Muslim Brotherhood's candidate. Other recent developments in the Nile Basin Initiative have included Egypt's efforts to abrogate previous agreements and improve others, all the while balancing the diplomatic agenda that has emerged in the new Egypt. An examination of the secondary literature is combined with primary research including interviews with Egyptian principals and a convenience survey of Egyptian consumers concerning the distribution of Nile River waters. A summary of the research and important findings are presented in the study's concluding chapter.

Table of Contents

Introduction

Introduction

Statement of the Problem

Research Aims

Research Questions

Overview of the Study

Chapter 2: Literature Review

Chapter 3: Methodology

Chapter 4: Data Analysis

Chapter 5: Summary and Conclusions

Development of Public Diplomacy and International Trade: Egypt's New Approach to Secure Its Interests in the Nile Basin Countries

It's a 4,160-mile lifeline for the countries that border it but intense disagreements over the use of the Nile River between the 10 African countries that share it and its tributaries threaten to destabilize this already volatile region. -- Tim Cocks, 2009

Introduction

The River Nile is the longest river in the world and represents a major source of water for millions of African people through its course and tributaries. In addition, the Nile basin that is formed by the Nile River is an enormous region that includes almost 2 million square miles of equatorial and north-east Africa accounting for fully 10% of the African continent (Mohamoda 2003). During recent decades, the usage of the waters that are derived from international rivers such as the Nile (e.g., those that run across and separate between two or more countries), has varied from time to time and from place to place, but have increasingly included purposes other than navigation, i.e., irrigation, electricity generation and industrial and household usages (Mohamoda 2003). These types of variations in water use have exacerbated existing shortages of potable water, and have contributed to the conflicts and disputes over the right of each state in benefiting from the river water in non-navigational purposes. This matter had raised certain questions over the right and obligations of each riparian state, in addition to the priority of usages; whether water is used in a certain activity such as irrigation and electricity generation, and the priority of beneficiaries; i.e. whether a country like Egypt which, since ancient times, had mainly flourished thanks to the river Nile, should enjoy acquired rights due to the fact that Egypt is considered the first and top beneficent from the Nile. In this respect, questions had been imposed on researchers in the fields of international political relations over the existence of certain approach that can peacefully solve any disputes in a manner that would ensure the minimum level of applying the principle of good neighborliness, and at the same time, preserve the legitimate rights of each riparian country as discussed further below.

Statement of the Problem

There have been some signs of progress and commitment to the shared vision of the Nile Basin Initiatives. The research that follows clearly demonstrates the regional commitment to the sustainable management of the waters of the Nile River. In fact, most recently, on February 16, 2012, a Tripartite Agreement was signed by the ministers in charge of electricity affairs on behalf of the Riparian governments to initiate the implementation of the Nile Basic Initiative and to reaffirm their intention to continue pursuing its financing and implementation (Nile Basin Parliamentarians call on Riparian governments to increase their country contribution to the NBI, 2012). Despite this call to action, some constraints to progress remain, including the extent to which each member country should exert its diplomatic influence in prosecuting its respective claims to the Nile waters. For example, Swain (2004) suggests that, "Joint water management of the Nile should focus on the most important sub-basin, namely the lower basin comprising Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia [because] the importance of the Nile water is not the same for all ten basin countries" (p. 108). Given the disparateness of water usage, it is not surprising that the affected countries have different perspectives on how the Nile Basin Initiative should proceed. In this regard, Swain emphasizes that, "Because their share of water resources is minimal, some riparian countries are less interested in cooperating on Nile water allocation and are therefore less committed towards basin-wide initiatives" (2004, p. 108). Indeed, currently, just two member states, Egypt and Sudan, account for most of the water usage from the Nile River, and the lower basin riparian countries only (with the possible exception of Eritrea) continue to press for more water from the basin (Swain, 2004). This disparity in usage and demand is due to the presence of another large source of fresh water for these member states, Lake Victoria. According to Swain, "The remaining riparian states are dependent primarily on Lake Victoria as a source of fresh water. For them, the issue is how to manage the lake, which is threatened by depletion and pollution. As a result, these countries contribute a relatively small share to the Nile flow and their dependence on the river for fresh water is not as significant. Thus, any basin-wide initiative faces the problem of co-opting a large number of uninterested parties" (2004, p. 108). Since the construction of the Aswan Dam in the latter half of the 20th century, there have been some other events that have affected the distribution and access to Nile waters that are becoming especially important today. According to With control of the Nile, Egypt's agriculture has expanded fivefold in the ensuing years.

It also marks the effective border between downstream development and upstream poverty. Today, Egypt is approximately 10 times wealthier than Ethiopia. Militarily and economically it dwarfs every state on the banks of the river. Without the water all this could change rapidly. "Egypt's historic rights to Nile waters are a matter of life and death. We will not compromise them," said Moufid Shehab, the Egyptian Minister of Legal Affairs (Howden, 2010, p. 2). Because Egypt is the major actor in this setting, the nation's leadership recently changed hands, and there is a very real potential for outright war over these water-related issues, identifying opportunities to promote this nation's interests in the Nile Basin Initiative represents a timely and valuable enterprise as set forth below.

Research Aims

The overarching aim of this study was to determine the new approach that Egypt is taking regarding the Nile water crisis. It also takes into account the mutual cooperation that Egypt might take with the African Union and the riparian Nile Basin states. Last but not the least the aim of the research was to determine how the Egyptians are going to secure the Nile water and how Egypt is going to balance its security through the means of diplomacy. These aims are congruent with numerous researchers who cite the disparate interests that are involved in adjudicating riparian rights in the modern age. For instance, Boon and Davies (2000, p. 19) emphasize that, "Rivers and their associated riparian and floodplain zones attract the interest of disparate societal segments seeking an advantage in using those areas." By providing a snapshot of current views among Egyptian stakeholders in these areas, this study establishes some important benchmarks for future researchers to use in assessing the effect of the Arab Spring uprisings on Egyptian diplomacy and policymaking in the future as delineated by the study's guiding research questions which are set forth below.

Research Questions

The study was guided by the following research questions with respect to Egypt's approach to the Nile basin countries:

1. What is the current Egyptian approach to the Nile crisis compared to its previous position?

2. How many institutions are dealing with the Nile case?

3. Which institution (foreign affairs, intelligence) should get priority in Egypt to deal with the Nile basin countries?

4. How mutual cooperation could be increased?

5. What are the dimensions and effects of political and economic crisis of water in the Nile Basin?

In addition, the study was guided by the following research questions with respect to Egypt's use of trade:

1. How can Egypt use trade and investments to its benefit?

2. Will mutual trade and investment bring about political engagement or not?

Finally, the study was guided by the following research questions with respect to Egypt's use of public diplomacy:

1. How do officials use the Arab Spring to their advantage?

2. What are the development of public diplomacy and its effect on the Nile Crisis?

Chapter 2: Literature Review

Background and Overview

Although the international agreements concerning the distribution and management of the Nile River… [END OF PREVIEW]

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