Major meeting on Ethiopia’s Renaissance Dam to be held in Egypt

The main agenda of the meeting is to discuss initial reports by consultancy firms tasked with assessing the possible impact of the dam on downstream countries

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Major meeting on Ethiopia's Renaissance Dam to be held in Egypt
The Ethiopian Grand Renaissance Dam is more than half complete

A spokesman from the Egyptian foreign ministry has told the media that his country will host a special meeting next week in the capital Cairo regarding the Ethiopian Grand Renaissance Dam (GERD) .

The main agenda of the meeting is to discuss initial reports by consultancy firms tasked with assessing the possible impact of the dam on downstream countries the official said.

If indeed the meeting takes place, it would come only days after Ethiopian Foreign Minister Workneh Gebeyehu  made a trip to Egypt, where he met with Egypt’s President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi and foreign minister Sameh Shoukry where he held  bilateral talks.

The Ethiopian Grand Renaissance Dam is being constructed on River Nile causing fears that Egypt water supply stands to be adversely affected if construction continue.

In late 2016, Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia signed the final contracts for the long-awaited impact studies with French consultancy firms BRL and Artelia, as well as British law firm Corbett, which will carry out studies on the potential impact of the on the flow of the Nile.

While Ethiopia sees nothing wrong with Grand Renaissance Dam, Egypt has expressed concerns that the construction of the Renaissance Dam, which is more than halfway complete, could negatively affect Egypt’s share of Nile water.

The Renaissance Dam now in its seventh years has had a share of its challenges. Early this year Ethiopia Federal High Court sentenced members of a rebel group, the Benishangul Gumuz People’s Liberation Movement (BPLM), for their role in a hand grenade attack that killed nine people in an attempt to disrupt work on the Grand Ethiopian Rennaissance Dam.

The Grand Ethiopian Rennaissance Dam project which is still under construction will be the biggest hydroelectric dam on the continent after its completion.

The Grand Ethiopian Rennaissance Dam project which is still under construction will be the biggest hydroelectric dam on the continent after its completion.