Egypt to host meeting in December over Ethiopia’s power dam construction

Egypt to host meeting in December over Ethiopia’s power dam construction
Published: 17 November 2019 - 11:06 a.m.
By: Baset Asaba

Egypt, Sudan, and Ethiopia have agreed to continue the technical consultations and discussions on all contentious issues over the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) during the second meeting, scheduled to be held in Cairo on (2-3) December, according to Egypt's Irrigation Ministry.

The three countries held their two-day meeting, the first of four meetings agreed upon earlier in Washington, in Addis Ababa with the presence of their water ministers and technical delegations in addition to representatives of the United States and the World Bank as observers, reported Haram Online.

In an official statement, Egypt’s irrigation and water resources ministry said on Saturday that Addis Ababa's meeting witnessed exchanging the technical discussions between the participating delegations regarding the rules of filling and operating the GERD.

It comes in light of the outcome of the US-sponsored Egypt-Ethiopia-Sudan meeting held in Washington earlier this month when they agreed on holding four urgent trilateral meetings at the level of the water resources ministers and with the participation of representatives from the US and the World Bank.

The four meetings aim to reaching an agreement on filling and operating the dam’s reservoir within a period of two months and by 15 January 2020.

For Ethiopia, the $4.8 billion GERD, announced in 2011, paves the way for its development because it is designed to be the centrepiece of Ethiopia’s bid to become Africa’s biggest power exporter. When completed in 2022 it will be the largest hydropower project in Africa, generating more than 6,000 megawatts.

Egypt fears that the Ethiopian dam, which is 70 per cent complete, will diminish its water supply because it is being built on the Blue Nile, which accounts for 85 per cent of the Nile waters that reach Egypt.

According to the ministry's statement, the three countries discussed during their meeting the technical elements governing the filling and operating as well as the ways to deal with the cases of drought and prolonged drought that might occur in the future.

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