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The second steering committee meeting of the River Nile Transport Corridor Project took place in Cairo, Egypt from 01 to 02 October 2015.

The purpose of the meeting was to consider the pre-feasibility study report prepared by Egypt and draft terms of reference pertaining to the development of the legal, institutional and regulatory framework for the project.

The River Nile Transport Corridor Project aims at establishing a navigational route between Lake Victoria and the Mediterranean Sea through River Nile. So far a pre-feasibility study has been done, which identifies the sub-projects and activities for each footprint country.

During the meeting the study was presented to the steering committee, which recommended for revision to include the project in the Member States’ current and future projects plans that may impact on the project and provide information for the project implementation.

Further the committee resolved to circulate the pre-feasibility report to the footprint countries by 10 October 2015 to enable them obtain inputs from key national stakeholders and institutions before 15 November 2015. The national inputs are expected to reach Egypt by 20 November 2015.

With regard to fundraising for the feasibility study, the meeting mandated COMESA Secretariat to lead in the marketing of the project to financial institutions and development partners in the first quarter of 2016. The marketing team will also include representatives from the footprint countries and Egypt as project champion.

The footprint countries represented in the meeting were Democratic Republic of Congo, Egypt, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan and Sudan. NEPAD and South Africa were also represented at the meeting.

Speaking during the opening of the meeting, Egypt’s Minister of Transport Hon. Dr Saad Al Gioushy underscored the importance of water transport to trade in Africa especially its low cost, fuel efficiency, land use economy and environmental friendliness.

He urged the footprint countries to co-operate in order for them to jointly benefit from the Nile River owing to its huge potential to improve the standards of living of the people in the region.

The third steering committee meeting was scheduled for March 2016 where the final version of the pre-feasibility study will be considered and adopted