The problems with the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam continue

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Photo Credit: Daily News Egypt

By: Santiago Mayor / Source: Notas Periodismo Popular / The Dawn News / November 21, 2017

The ministers of water issues of Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia couldn’t reach an agreement about the environmental impact studies of the hydroelectric Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam that the Ethiopian State has continued to build in the Basin of the Blue Nile, a branch of the Nile.

The French companies Arterlia and BRL should have started to write the report by the end of 2016, but in order for them to start an agreement is needed between the three countries regarding the parameters to use. The Egyptian minister Mohammed Abdel Atu pointed out that his country approved the initial report presented by the companies, but “both Ethiopia and Sudan demanded important modifications”.

This results problematic for Cairo since while this technical revision takes time, Addis Ababa continues with the work that could affect the river flow, which is a fundamental axis of the Egyptian life and economy.

Parallel to this situation, the Ethiopian authorities had to publicly deny the involvement of foreign capital in the energetic project. The declaration tacitly responds to some rumors spread by press that involved a visit to Qatar by the Ethiopian Prime Minister, Hailemariam Desalegn, with the objective of applying for funds to fund the project.

The communique also aims to keep the country at the margin of the conflict that still persists between Qatar and other Arab country like Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Bahrein and Egypt who claim that Doha funds terrorism.

The infrastructure facility took to different rounds of dialogue between Ethiopia, Egypt and Sudan and in March 2015 a “commitment formula to share the water of the Nile river” was signed between the three countries”.

The dam, which will be the biggest in Africa and the 8th in the whole world, is constructed at a cost of 4 billion dollars and it will have a capacity of 74 thousand billion cubic meters generating to 6.450 megawatts of power. This will turn Ethiopia into the main energy producer of the region.

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