In its bilateral co-operation programme, France supports the Ethiopian Ministry of Water Resources on the following topics:
- access to drinking water in rural and urban areas,
- integrated river basin management on a national and sub-regional scale, when transboundary rivers are involved,
- development of irrigated agriculture and electric power.
The Ethiopian Minister for Water Resources had shown an interest in the French institutions involved in water resources management and suggested the organisation of a study tour for a group of top executives led by the Vice Minister, Mr. Mesfin.
The programme, managed by IOWater, was implemented between 30 August and 7 September 2003. It included:
• an introduction to the co-operation programme of the French Ministry for Foreign Affairs,
• an introduction to IOWater activities (institutional support, training and information systems),
• a visit of organisations and companies: Rhone-Mediterranean-Corsica Water Agency, National Rhone Company, Canal de Provence Company, Bas-Rhone Languedoc Company, decentralised departments of the State (DIRENs), private companies (BCEOM, etc.) and others (AGROPOLIS,VERSEAU association).
A drafting of a law on Basin Organizations was then prepared and received approbation of Ethiopian authorities concerned. It also raised the Ethiopian partners awareness to the operating of French and international basin organizations and to their activities related to water management at the level of river basins.