Egypt and Kenya have been connected since ancient times with the River Nile. They both share a long history of cooperation at all levels in that area. Old times ago, Egypt has been pursuing cooperation with Nile Basin countries, including Kenya, and keep communication with them for the best means on the use of the River Nile waters in favor of all upstream and downstream nations, heeding, certainly, Egypt’s historical rights to the Nile waters.
Cooperation between Egypt and Kenya has gone beyond the Nile waters to include water resources’ management in general. In August 2016, during the visit of the Kenyan Cabinet Secretary for Agriculture and Irrigation to Egypt, the two sides inked a memo of understanding on water resources’ management in Kenya. The agreement included establishment of six dams for rainwater harvesting, the digging of 20 underground water wells, and implementation of a pilot project on modern irrigation systems, in addition to providing training for Kenyan technical teams.
- Egypt and Kenya signed a number of agreements on preparing and digging of 180 underground water wells for potable water purposes in barren regions in Kenya via a grant from the Egyptian Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation. The agreement was put in place in 2003 and implemented at four phases and the project was finalized in 2009.
- On July 28, 2011, an Egyptian delegation led by the Minister of Water Resources and Irrigation took part in the Ministerial Meeting of the Nile Basin Initiative in Nairobi, Kenya.
- In September 2011, the Egyptian Ambassador to Kenya said the relations binding the two countries were heading upward and that Kenya showed understanding of Egypt’s real water needs. He has also said Kenyan officials know for certain that the River Nile remains Egypt’s lifeline. He has also pointed out that Kenya depends on rainwater and that the country just needs to utilize water for generating power, something that Egypt fully understands.
- In June 2014, and within the Egyptian Nile Basin Development Initiative, a bundle of Kenyan engineers received training courses in agricultural mechanization of small farms. A memo of understanding was also signed between Egypt and Kenya in that respect.
- Kenya also regularly participates in the annual program organized by the Egyptian Ministry of Electricity and Renewable Energy for technical staff in the Nile Basin countries, as well as training courses organized by the Egyptian Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation.
- In March 2015, the Egyptian Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation announced that Egypt and Kenya agreed on drafting a memo of understanding on promoting cooperation in water projects, particularly the digging of wells and rainwater harvesting projects, let alone capacity-building and training programs. The agreement was reached during the talks in Cairo between then Egyptian Minister of Water Resources and Irrigation Hossam Moghazi and Kenyan Cabinet Secretary for Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries Felix Koskei. The talks also touched on means of furthering bilateral relations and setting up of joint projects in water and irrigation, particularly the digging of wells.
- In February 2016, then Egyptian Minister of Water Resources and Irrigation Hossam Moghazi paid a two-day visit to Nairobi during which he participated in the celebration of the Nile Basin Initiative annual anniversary, which was reached in February 1999 and its first meeting was held in 2007. This celebration is held every year in a Nile Basin country to promote the bonds of regional cooperation between riparian nations to realize sustainable development and the full utilization of the Nile waters.
- On January 17, 2017, Egypt provided a grant to Kenya to carry out water resources’ management project in Kenya. The project included the digging of 20 underground water wells and establishment of 6 dams for rainwater harvesting and implementation of a pilot project on modern irrigation systems, in addition to providing training for Kenyan technical teams.
- In February 2017, the talks between President El-Sisi and Kenyan President Kenyatta touched on means of furthering development in Nile Basin countries. The two leaders reiterated the need for continued work on making the utmost use of the River Nile, in favor of all upstream and downstream countries via setting up joint projects for mutual interests, without inflicting any harm on the rights and the use of the River Nile waters. In his meeting with the Kenyan President, President El-Sisi said “We will support development in all Nile Basin countries to improve the use of the River Nile in favor of all riparian countries in general.”
- On July 13, 2017, Minister of Water Resources and Irrigation Mohamed Abdel-Aati paid a visit to Kenya to tackle means of furthering bilateral cooperation with Nile Basin countries. During the visit, he also launched the joint project between the two countries within Egypt’s grant to provide potable water for the Kenyan people in dry and barren regions, as a gift from the people of Egypt to the people of Kenya.
- In November 2018, Minister of Water Resources and Irrigation Mohamed Abdel-Aati met, on the sidelines of the Global Sustainable Blue Economy Conference, with a number of Kenyan cabinet secretaries, including Cabinet Secretary for Water and Irrigation. The Minister discussed with his Kenyan opposite number joint projects between the two countries and means of enforcing a memo of understanding on carrying out a bundle of projects related to water resources’ management in Kenya. The Minister of Water Resources and Irrigation of Egypt also discussed linking Lake Victoria-Mediterranean Sea Navigation Line Project with the Lamu Port-South Sudan-Ethiopia-Transport (LAPSSET) Corridor Project that aims to link East and West Africa. The ministerial meetings led to agreement on the exchange of experts in the areas of agriculture, irrigation, sewage treatment and local governance.