Project ambassador Bastian Baker is supporting the Democracy Without Borders initiative in Egypt where he has volunteered to take part in the activities of the Nile Project to promote the sustainable development of the Nile ecosystem. During his trip to Egypt he also visited SDC water management and youth employment projects.
Egypt: Music for sustainable development along the Nile
In late 2014, Federal Councillor Didier Burkhalter announced that Swiss musician Bastian Baker would become a project ambassador for the Democracy Without Borders initiative. From 7–12 February 2016, the musician travelled to Cairo and Aswan. In Cairo he performed with Egyptian popstar Hany Adel before travelling on to Aswan where he lent support to the SDC co-funded Nile Project's efforts to encourage a sustainable ecosystem through music and academic training, and by taking part in a musical exchange with the artists.
"When Federal Councillor Didier Burkhalter told me about the Nile Project, I was immediately convinced. It's an exciting idea that music can play a role in the development of people and regions around the world. I'm happy and proud to work with the Nile Project," said Baker.
The Swiss musician also visited SDC youth employment and water management projects in the region and talked to young people involved in the projects.
Shared Nile culture' through music and training
Eleven countries in the Nile basin rely on the river's water for their national development plans. Although some 437 million people live in the Nile basin, up to now there has been no collective vision for the development of this shared ecosystem. The Nile Project was launched in 2011 with the aim of encouraging dialogue and exchanges between communities, local associations, artists and students in the Nile basin. The SDC has supported this project linking music and academic training since 2013.
Water management and youth employment in Aswan
In the Aswan Governorate in Upper Egypt, the SDC is working to improve irrigation systems and to raise awareness among farmers about economical use of water. It is also working in a poor area in the city of Aswan to improve water infrastructure and encourage efficient water use. A third SDC project aims to help young women and men in the rural district of Aswan to find long-term employment with an adequate income so that fewer people leave to seek work in urban centres.