Floods in eastern DRC have caused enormous damage. According to the UN, tens of thousands of people have been affected. Meanwhile, Egypt is developing its water diplomacy.
The margins of the visit of the Egyptian Minister of Water, Mohamed Abdelaty, in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), a symbolic donation from Egypt to the DRC has been announced. In order to seal cooperation between the two countries in the fields of irrigation, the Egyptian government has pledged $ 10 million to the DRC. On the same day, Thursday, July 15, the UN released a report showing the damage caused by the floods since April. In total, in the Congo, 16 people died, 26 homes and 000 schools were destroyed, including along the Tanzanian border, on the shores of Lake Tanganyika.
An opportunity for Egypt, no doubt, to concretize cooperation with the DRC, after the visit of its Chief of Staff at the end of June. Indeed, the Egyptian general Mohamed Farid, at the head of a large delegation, had visited Kinshasa for four days. Another visit, four months earlier, of the President of the DRC Félix Tshisekedi in Egypt had allowed the signing of cooperation contracts in infrastructure and water treatment.
- Radio Okapi (@radiookapi) July 16, 2021
An opportunistic “water diplomacy”
However, the UN humanitarian coordination office deplores the inadequacy of aid to victims of the floods that have taken place in recent months. The presidency of the DRC had rightly declared, in February, that the infrastructure projects to avoid future water damage would be "launched in the coming days". Funding from Afreximbank $ XNUMX billion had been made available to the country.
However, technical assistance from Egypt remains an opportunity for Kinshasa. Cairo has extensive experience in flood management and operates numerous dams along the Nile. For the DRC, on the other hand, Egypt is the third country to send aid after Uganda and Rwanda. According to RFI, more than 280 people have been affected in the south-east of the DRC. The region is inhabited by a large number of Ugandans and Rwandans.
However, Egyptian interest in the area remains less obvious. Cooperation between Egypt and Congo has skated in recent years. The Egyptian position in the GERD file, opposing the country to Ethiopia, has even probably deteriorated the collaboration with the DRC. Beyond simple cooperation, the understanding between the two countries is not really good: President Tshisekedi is at the head of the African Union (AU). However, while it was attempting an African mediation to resolve the tensions of GERD, Egypt preferred to turn to the UN.
But water has, it seems, become a key subject for Egypt, which sees a geostrategic interest in it. It took no less than floods to reactivate Egyptian cooperation with the DRC. According to some sources, the Egyptian delegation of Minister Abdelaty presented a hydroelectric dam project to the government in Kinshasa.
A big step forward in the implementation of the Integrated Water Resources Management Project (IWRM) between the DRC and Egypt with the inauguration today of the Congo Hydro Informatics Center (CHIC) in the presence of the Min. of Water Resources and Irrigation Dr Mohamed #Abdelaty. pic.twitter.com/REnQpGGVnf
- Eve Bazaiba (@Evebazaiba) July 15, 2021