The countries bordering the Nile are Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, Sudan (Republic), Tanzania and Uganda. Egypt, Sudan and South Sudan are downstream border countries. However, South Sudan has stated that it does not recognize the 1959 bilateral agreement between Egypt and Sudan. “To the British government: the British government has already started negotiations with the Ethiopian government on its proposal and we had imagined that the negotiations with us would have been concluded, whether this proposal came into force or not; we never thought that the British government would reach an agreement with another government on our sea. These differences on the use of the Nile are not new and indeed have a long history, as these countries are heavily dependent on the waters of the Nile. In 1929, an agreement was reached between Egypt and Great Britain on the use of Nile waters – Britain represented its colonies in the Nile basin.  The Anglo-Egyptian Treaty dealt with many issues concerning the Nile and its tributaries. The fact that it has granted Egypt an annual allocation of 48 billion cubic metres of water and Sudan 4 billion cubic metres, on an estimated average annual yield of 84 billion cubic metres, is particularly important for the current debate. In addition, the 1929 agreement granted Egypt a veto over construction projects on the Nile or one of its tributaries in order to minimize interference in the flow of water into the Nile. The first part of the text contains largely established and customary principles of international water law; the principle of fair and equitable use, the obligation not to cause significant damage and the principle of the protection and preservation of the river ecosystem.
The principles set out in Part I serve as a guide for countries to implement the treaty and to manage and develop the river`s resources in a sustainable manner. Cross-border water management requires water district organizations. These are water resource management facilities across the basin. They are important because they can help to introduce a degree of flexibility in agreements between riparian countries. Egypt wants an alternative to the agreement that now allows other countries in the Nile basin to carry out projects along the river without its prior approval. The signing of the agreement was already scheduled at a ministerial meeting in 2007, but was delayed at Egypt`s request.  The upstream countries then decided at another ministerial meeting in Kinshasa in May 2009 to sign the agreement without all countries signing at the same time. However, the signing was delayed and, at the next ministerial meeting held in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, in April 2010, it was again asked to postpone the signature.