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Covering the Degradation of the Nile


Event Date:

October 17, 2023 | 1:00 PM +03 TO 2:00 PM +03


Northwestern University in Qatar


A man stands with a gun, Ethiopia

Key to understanding Ethiopia’s rising nationalism is the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, the...



On Tuesday, Oct. 17, 2023, Pulitzer Center grantees Ann Neumann and Fredrick Mugira will join a conversation focused on war and water in the Horn of Africa during their visit to Northwestern University in Qatar, a Campus Consortium partner.

Ethiopia erupted into civil war in 2020, with the Ethiopian and Eritrean federal forces against the Tigray People’s Liberation Front. Hundreds of thousands of people were killed, and an estimated 13 million required humanitarian aid before parties reached a cease-fire in November 2022. Yet tensions remain high and the Tigray region isolated.

Meanwhile, East African leaders also are preoccupied with another pressing issue: water. In the Nile Basin region, despite access to one of the world’s largest rivers, much of the population in the lower and middle basins live in areas of water scarcity and drought. The Nile is crucial to the health, economy, and cultures of 11 African countries, but land grabs and agribusiness investments threaten its accessibility. The construction of at least one major dam project has additional implications.

Neumann and Mugira will discuss their reporting on conflict and environmental systems in the Horn. What caused Ethiopia, previously the United States’ trusted ally in East Africa, to go to war with itself? Why is the Nile River Basin in danger? And how will the region grapple with these internal struggles?

Pulitzer Center Senior Editor Tom Hundley will moderate the conversation.

This event is part of a multi-day visit by Neumann, Mugira, and Hundley to Northwestern University in Qatar as part of its Campus Consortium partnership with the Pulitzer Center.

Learn more about the Campus Consortium program.

Ann Neumann is an American journalist and author. Her Pulitzer Center-supported project, Who Owns the Nile? Ethiopia's War Against Itself, took her to Ethiopia to report on the civil war and regional tensions. She has also published The Good Death (Beacon, 2016), a book about her father and end-of-life care in the U.S. She is working on a book about American empire. She is a contributing nonfiction editor at Guernica magazine, and her work has appeared in The New York Times, The Guardian, Harper’s Magazine, The Baffler, and elsewhere.

Fredrick Mugira is a Ugandan environmental journalist. He has reported on multiple projects with support from the Pulitzer Center, including Sucked Dry: Land Grabs and Water Access in the Nile River Basin, Coronavirus in Nile Basin: Dual Dangers of a Pandemic and Water Crisis, and Investigating and Mapping the Role of Indigenous People in the Conservation of Congo. His work has received numerous awards. He also heads Water Journalists Africa, a network of over 700 journalists in 50 African countries who report on water, and he co-founded InfoNile, a geo-journalism platform mapping data on water issues in the Nile River Basin.


war and conflict reporting


War and Conflict

War and Conflict
yellow halftone illustration of an elephant


Environment and Climate Change

Environment and Climate Change