Egypt is now raising concerns over a sluggish progress in regards to technical studies on Ethiopia’s Grand Renaissance Dam.
Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry met with his Ethiopian counterpart Dr. Workneh Gebeyehu in New York on the sideline of the 72nd session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) where issues regarding the Grand Renaissance Dam were discussed.
A statement from Egyptian foreign ministry hinted that Mr Shoukry expressed concerns over slow working pace of a tripartite technical committee assigned to study the effects of the renaissance dam on downstream countries.
Ethiopia, Egypt and Sudan formed a tripartite technical committee comprising of experts from the three countries to study the future impact of the dam. The move was informed by complaints from Egypt that the project would have devastating downstream effects.
Egypt’s main concern is water security, as the country faces a future of increasing scarcity. Nearly all of Egypt’s water comes from the Nile, and its population of 83 million is growing at nearly two percent annually.
A recent report from the Geological Society of America said that the ‘Nile’s fresh water flow to Egypt may be cut by as much as 25%, with a loss of a third of the electricity generated by the Aswan High Dam’, which would be bad news for Egyptians.
Once complete, the the Grand Renaissance Dam will be the largest hydropower facility in Africa (about 6 000 MW) – nearly triple the country’s current electricity generation capacity – and represent a potential economic windfall for the government.