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May 19, 2024
Kampala Daily
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Raila Odinga shares Museveni’s dream of making River Nile navigable again

Kenyan politician Raila Odinga has announced his ambitious plan to make the River Nile navigable again, connecting the African continent to the Mediterranean Sea, as he campaigns for the chairmanship of the African Union Commission (AUC).

Odinga’s vision for a rejuvenated River Nile route was shared during high-level meetings with European diplomats in Nairobi, where he emphasized the need for expanded cooperation on pan-African policy priorities.

Odinga’s proposal aligns with recent statements made by Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni, who highlighted the advantages of reopening the River Nile route to the Mediterranean Sea.

Museveni noted that Uganda’s strategic location in the center of the African continent, coupled with its abundant renewable energy sources, makes it an ideal hub for trade and connectivity. However, the country’s landlocked status has hindered its potential for growth.

 

During colonial times, the Nile River was a vital transportation route, with rail loops around the seven cataracts allowing for seamless connectivity.

However, wars in Sudan closed this route, and it has remained dormant for decades.

Raila Odinga

As AUC chairman, Odinga hopes to revive this long-deferred dream, facilitating efficient logistics and trade across the continent.

“It is regrettable that 60 years into independence, Africans have to fly to Europe to connect to certain parts of Africa and require multiple currencies and visas to access other African countries,” he said

His vision for a connected Africa includes a free trade regime, removal of non-trade barriers, global cooperation, stability, and the free movement of people. Odinga also emphasized the need for infrastructure development, open skies, and investment in energy and internet connectivity.

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