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Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Talks on Renaissance Dam get underway in Adiss Ababa

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President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi, Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir and Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn are today discussing issues around the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam in the Capital Addis Ababa.

The meeting will be seeking to find a solution to the controversy surrounding the construction of the dam that is located on river Nile.

Egypt insists that construction of the dam that is 60 per cent complete threatens its annual share of 55.5 billion cubic meters of the Nile River water if construction of the dam goes on to completion.

However, Ethiopia maintains that the Grand Renaissance Dam construction will not reduce Egypt’s share of the river. It insists the dam is needed for development saying it will continue with its construction.

The country has since rejected a recent proposal by Egypt to involve the World Bank in the stalled technical negotiations saying the issue can be discussed and a consensus reached.

Although Egypt accepted a report prepared by PRL Consulting Company on the guidelines that should be followed during GERD construction period, Ethiopia and Sudan rejected the findings of the report, crippling the continuation of the necessary studies to establish the dam.

Once complete, the hydro electric project 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.

Egyptian has emphasized the need for reaching a fair deal on the Ethiopian dam saying  its water rights and interests come first. Now in its seventh year of construction, The Ethiopian dam has faced a myriad of challenges but the country promises to soldier on with the project.

Egypt’s President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi is in Addis Ababa since Saturday to participate in the 30th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the African Union which is coming to an end today.

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