Timeline guide

This timeline describes the 60+ years history of Egyptian-Netherlands water management cooperation. It also shows the impacts of this bilateral cooperation on the development of the modern Egyptian water sector and the benefits for the Netherlands water sector. The aim of this timeline is to put the format of cooperation in context for the benefit of future water governance and international cooperation.

Furthermore, the authors and resource persons are introduced and links to the NICC-collection on Egypt are given.

Timeline Structure

To fully understand the development of the bilateral cooperation over time this timeline is structured in the following manner: In this bullet, you will find a short historical context, which will be followed by 5 bullets of distinct phases of bilateral cooperation between 1960 and 2020. Which in turn will be followed by a bullet on the future of the Egyptian water sector and the Netherlands’ future role therein.

These phases differ from each other due to gradually changing focus and approach. Over time, the focus shifted from mostly handling drainage problems to several aspects of Integrated Water Resources Management to addressing policy and planning issues and projects in the Egyptian water sector. And what started as a very direct approach which can be summarized as the combination of financial and technical support, transformed into a more integrated approach with an eye towards the future by also focusing on capacity building in planning and monitoring.

Bilateral Water Management Panel

A central part of the bilateral cooperation is the Egyptian-Dutch Advisory Panel Project on land drainage (APP), later to become the Panel on Water Management. This Panel is internationally recognized as a successful and unique format for development cooperation, so it forms an important narrative in this timeline. Part of the Panels’ success, as will be discussed later on, is its natural growth and adaptation over time.

Resource Persons

This timeline was created based on several interviews with the following experts:

  • Prof. Dr Mahmoud Abu Zeid, former-panel chairman and Minister of Water Resources and Irrigation
  • Dr Samia El Guindy, former-APP member, long serving Egyptian Head of its Secretariat and Support Office and co-author of the panel end report
  • Wouter Wolters, former APP Dutch Support Office coordinator and co-author of panel end report Eng.
  • Walib Hakiki, coordinator of the current Egyptian-Dutch Water Management Panel (anno 2021) and senior staff member of the Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation (MWRI)
  • Job Kleijn, former diplomat in water affairs of the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs
  • Sabrina Kraaijenbrink-Doetjes, project manager MENA region at Netherlands Water Partnership (NWP)
  • Ebel Smidt, senior Water Resources Management expert EU water STARS project

NICC expresses many thanks to the experts for their willingness to share their experiences and knowledge. Some clips of interviews are integrated in the present version of the timeline. Their interviews and photo's complement the written information and provide more context to some topics that are only briefly discussed in writing. Work on improving the use of these interviews will continue with support from new interns and volunteers at the NICC foundation.


This timeline has been compiled by six interns at the NICC Foundation: Janey Sierat, Joey Van der Most, Rex Langenberg, Jesse Moeys, Sander Brouwers and Hinke Hoekstra. NICC expresses deep gratitude for their hard work, interest, and compassion for the theme and the objectives of the work of NICC.

Sources NICC

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