The Nile Project was founded in 2011 by Egyptian ethnomusicologist Mina Girgis and Ethiopian- American singer Meklit Hadero to address the Nile Basin’s cultural and environmental challenges. Through an innovative approach combining music, education, and an innovation platform, the Nile Project addresses the cultural and environmental challenges at the root of the Nile conflict.
For the Nile Basin to be sustainable, its inhabitants must be connected, its governance participatory, and its communities resilient. Despite ancient relations among East African civilizations, the 437 million citizens of the 11 nations sharing the longest river in the world have no avenues to connect beyond their state borders. Opaque political processes and uninformed populations lacking environmental understanding hinder democratic participatory governance. Insufficient institutional capacity, infrastructure, and funding prevent Nile communities from adapting to social pressures and environmental threats.
The Nile Project curates several programs to foster cross-cultural empathy and inspire environmental curiosity in order to shift the Nile from a divisive geopolitical argument to a uniting East-African conversation. The project’s model integrates programs in music, education, dialogue, leadership, and innovation to engage Nile Citizens across disciplines and geographies.
The Nile Project brings together artists from the 11 Nile countries to make music that combines the region’s diverse instruments, languages and traditions. The concert experience aims to inspire cultural curiosity, highlight regional connections, and showcase the potential of trans-boundary cooperation.
Participatory workshops and cross-cultural dialogues provide university students with unique intellectual experiences, deepening their understanding of the Nile ecosystem, and stimulating new ways of thinking, communicating, and doing. In addition, a Nile Fellowship and Nile Prize programs incentivize them to apply their education and training toward mobilizing their peers and pioneering innovative solutions to the Nile Basin’s complex and inter-related challenges.