Ethiopian Nile Discourse Forum (Eth-NDF)

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NDF Profile

The Ethiopian Nile Basin Discourse Forum (Eth-NDF) is a network of civil society organizations (CSOs) and Non-governmental Organizations committed to promoting civil society and basin community participation and active engagement in the development and sustainable utilization of the Nile water resources.
Functional Organisation Structure of Ethiopia NDF
Eth-NDF, launched in December 2005, is the result of series of consultative meetings and lively debates among like minded Ethiopian civil society groups who could no more bear witnessing the paradox of socioeconomic deprivation, grinding poverty and hunger that has befallen the Nile basin communities , while one of the World's biggest rivers is flowing by their very door steps, untapped.

Eth-NDF is convinced that the time has come for redressing this injustice through a collaborative effort between government, civil society and the international development community. In this regard, it recognizes the enormous opportunities created by the new vision of the Nile basin countries towards a shared and sustainable utilization of the Nile water resources, through the Nile Basin Initiative (NBI). Eth-NDF believes that the effective participation of the Ethiopian civil society and the grass root basin communities in the policy making and development process of this huge water resource is of crucial importance to the realization of the NBI vision and programmes.

Eth-NDF is accountable to the NBD secretariat.

NDF Leadership

Mengesha Workneh
Mengesha Workneh
General Secretary
Mengesha Workneh is the General Secretary of the Nile Basin Discourse and the chairperson of Ethiopia National Discourse Forum. He is a lawyer by profession and holds a Bachelors Degree in Economic Administration and Masters in Agricultural Economics. Mengesha has experience in various fields of study and he was a General Manager for 12 years in a government grain Corporation. Mengesha was a governor of the Blue Nile Region, one of the 12 regions of imperial Ethiopia for 2 years; he served as a legal advisor in the Ministry of justice for 10 years, Secretary General of Ethiopian Environmental Organisation for 10 years, Representative of the Ethiopian Employers Federation for 5 years, board member and chair of 5 civil societies.
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Tamrat Kebede
Tamrat Kebede
Board Member
Tamrat is a holder of Bachelors Degree of Economics (Ithaca College), Masters in Political Economy (Syracuse University) and Masters in Public Administration (Harvard University). With over 30 years experience as an expert in rural development in Ethiopia, Tamrat’s long experience entails conducting research and executing development programs for government institutions and Non-Governmental Organizations both at expert and leadership positions. He also served for 12 years at the African Development Bank (ADB) as Senior Expert in aid coordination; he was a manager of State Farms Authority for 12 years, Head of department of Aid Coordination and Human Resettlement in Relief and Rehabilitation Commission Action (AHA) for 3 years. Tamrat is the Executive Director of InterAfrica Group a regional NGO in the Horn of Africa.
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Amare Kebede Wede
Amare Kebede Wede
Vice Chairperson
Amare Kebede Wede has a Master’s Degree in Soil Conservation and Land Reclamation Engineering, Post graduate and graduate credentials. His area of expertise include Social Science, land use planning, soil and water conservation, rural development planning, project implementations, monitoring and evaluation of projects, production of teaching/ training materials and organizing training courses. Amare has prepared over 10 publications; he is a member of international and national professional societies, associations and affiliated organisations. He worked with different government organisations including Ministry of Agriculture and international NGOs, he is the Chief Executive Officer of SUNARMA a national NGO that deals with natural resources management and livelhood improvement.
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NDF Activities

Areas of operation

The forum has been engaged in the following areas. These include:
1) Public awareness raising on IWRM, impacts of climate change on water, and on the benefits of Nile cooperation to Ethiopia;
2) Research and dissemination for policy informing on the benefits of Nile cooperation;
3) Information exchange and sharing on the management of shared water resources in general and the Nile water resources in particular
4) Partnership and networking with local, national and international actors in the Nile.

In relation to the NBD three year programme, the Forum operates in the following areas:

Improving communication, knowledge and information management among civil society organizations in the Nile basin to strengthen civil society perspectives in development processes. Here, it wants to ensure increased understanding and participation in Nile basin development processes among stakeholders.

Supporting initiatives for sustainable integrated river basin management at all levels for livelihood improvement & development in the Nile basin. Its intention to see increased understanding and application of integrated river basin resource management approaches among NBD members and enhanced ecosystem approach & IWRM concepts for the use, development & conservation of water resources in the basin.

Ensuring the integration and adoption into the Nile basin development processes of Climate change adaptation & mitigation measures & approaches interwoven with measures to reduce trans-boundary conflict between communities in NBI member countries.

Influencing policy development for equitable utilization and sustainable management of the Nile basin resources by working to increase civil society contribution to policy-making processes in the Nile basin. The Forum is keen to promote the idea of mainstreaming access and equity issues in policies and guidelines at national, sub-regional and regional level in the Nile basin. It works towards increasing regional cooperation among civil society organizations on trans-boundary resource management.

The main objectives of the Forum are to:

Promote public awareness and informed dialogue on Nile water issues and contribute to national consensus building for a sustainable and shared development /use of the Nile water resources. The strategies employed for this objective are: (1) Provide Ethiopian civil society and basin communities with up to date information on Nile water development and utilization opportunities, challenges, technologies and emerging policy initiatives, the NBI in particular; (2) Organize and run public debates on Nile water issues at National, Regional and Local levels; and (3) Adopt a participatory and interactive public dialogue approach to develop consensus and shared vision on Nile water development issues.

Enhance basin community participation in the development and utilization of Nile water resources. This can be done by using the following strategies: (1) Establish and develop effective working relationships and partnership with local institutions (CSOs, CBOs, self- help groups, Schools, Clubs and local administration structures such as Woredas and Kebeles) running various development programs in the basin; (2) Build local institution capacities for effective participation in decisions affecting Nile basin development and management; (3) Provide resource mobilization and program support to local community development activities in the basin; and (4) Adopt a participatory monitoring and evaluation system that would allow the identification and tracking of the costs and benefits of Nile basin development projects to the local population.

Foster networking, cooperation, and strategic alliance with Nile basin stakeholders at National, Regional, & International levels. This objective would be realized by using the following strategies: (1) Develop and strengthen networking, information exchange with the Regional Nile Basin discourse Forum (NBD) and National Discourse Forums (NDFs) in each of the riparian countries with particular focus on ENSAP countries; (2) Establish and strengthen collaboration and partnership with NBI structures in the region and their various projects (CBSI, SDO, NTEAP, ENTRO in particular, and others); (3) Establish and develop partnership and collaboration with National, Regional and International development partners and donors supporting development activities in the basin; and (4) Establish, maintain and develop information exchange and collaborative links with government and private sector, educational establishments, research institutions, and individual citizens working on Nile water development issues.

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