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GERD is going according to plan

Published: May 25, 2014 by bini Filed under: Ethiopian News Politics
GERD is going according to plan

Despite Egypt’s efforts towards slowing down or halting the construction of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD,) the project is going according to plan and is scheduled to be completed in June 2017, the Minister of Water, Irrigation and Energy, Alemayehu Tegenu, told participants of the International Conference on the Nile, held on May 2nd at the Radisson Blu.

The conference, organized by the Ethiopian Lawyers’ Association and its sponsors, Teshome Gebremariam Bokan Law Office, and Kenyan law firms Anjarwalla & Khanna and JMiles & Co. discussed the legal frameworks in the water, irrigation, energy and infrastructure sectors; the challenges faced; dispute resolution mechanisms in the context of the GERD project and the way forward for Ethiopia.

Egypt-Ethiopia dam dispute 'not a war': Egypt PM

Published: May 11, 2014 by bini Filed under: Ethiopian News Politics
Egypt-Ethiopia dam dispute 'not a war': Egypt PM

Egypt's dispute with Ethiopia over the Grand Renaissance Dam "is not a war," Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab said Saturday.

During a visit to Equatorial Guinea, as part of an official delegation that included the minister of foreign affairs Nabil Fahmy, Mahlab said in a press conference the issue should be handled in the context of a "balance of interests."

The under-construction dam is situated near the Sudanese border on the Blue Nile, a Nile tributary. It is set to be the biggest hydroelectric dam in Africa, producing as much as 6,000 megawatts of energy.

Egypt has repeatedly expressed its concern that the dam will affect its share of Nile water. The Ethiopian side insists this will not happen.

"Ethiopia has the right to generate electricity, but at the same time, Egypt's right to life, represented by the Nile's water, shouldn't be compromised," Mahlab said.

He denied any possibility of clashes between Egypt and Ethiopia, adding that the historic relationship between the two nations was the basis for shaping future relations between them.

Sudan slams Egyptian media’s provocation over Ethiopian dam

Published: May 10, 2014 by bini Filed under: Ethiopian News Politics
Sudan slams Egyptian media’s provocation over Ethiopian dam

May 9, 2014 (KHARTOUM) – The Sudanese foreign minister Ali Karti criticized Cairo’s approach in dealing with Ethiopian Renaissance Dam issue and called on the Egyptian media and other circles to stop what he described as "clowning".

In statements to pro-government Ashorooq TV, Karti said that Sudan would have suffered the most if constructing the dam was done without environmental studies to prove its safety or economic feasibility to the three main Nile Basin countries .

Karti stressed that when his government felt that there was a slackening in examining these issues, it formed a national committee to study all aspects of the dam with the right to cooperate with any of the national committees in Ethiopia or Egypt.

He described the Egyptian -Sudanese relations as good, emphasizing that Sudan has refused to intervene in the ongoing political crisis in Egypt as it is an internal affair in which it respected the will of the Egyptian people and their choice towards change.

Egyptian satellite to monitor construction of Ethiopia's disputed dam

Published: Apr 30, 2014 by bini Filed under: Ethiopian News Politics
A new Egyptian satellite will track the construction of an Ethiopian hydroelectric dam over which officials in Cairo and Addis Ababa have been locked in a standoff over fears that the project will hinder Egypt's access to the Nile's water.

Launched almost two weeks ago, Egysat will monitor Ethiopia's Grand Renaissance Dam by capturing high quality photos of the construction site along with other sources of the Nile, said Alaa El-din El-Nahry, vice president of Egypt's National Authority for Remote Sensing and Space Sciences.

The LE300 million satellite – which will come into operation in mid-June after a two-month test period – will track the dam's height, storage capacity and water discharge. It will also monitor the Kongo River basin to assess the effectiveness of a proposed project to link the Kongo and Nile rivers.

Egypt's government believes the satellite's findings will bolster its negotiations with Ethiopia and provide legal ground in case it must resort to international arbitration over any violations in the dam's stated purpose of electricity generation, El-Nahry said during a seminar in Cairo, according to Al-Ahram's daily Arabic newspaper.

Egypt has been particularly concerned that the dam, now more than 30 percent finished, will hugely impact its share of the Nile, the country's main source of potable water.

Paying for giant Nile dam itself, Ethiopia thwarts Egypt but takes risks

Published: Apr 23, 2014 by bini Filed under: Ethiopian News Politics

(Reuters) - Ethiopia's bold decision to pay for a huge dam itself has overturned generations of Egyptian control over the Nile's waters, and may help transform one of the world's poorest countries into a regional hydropower hub.

By spurning an offer from Cairo for help financing the project, Addis Ababa has ensured it controls the construction of the Renaissance Dam on a Nile tributary. The electricity it will generate - enough to power a giant rich-world city like New York - can be exported across a power-hungry region.

But the decision to fund the huge project itself also carries the risk of stifling private sector investment and restricting economic growth, and may jeopardize Ethiopia's dream of becoming a middle income country by 2025.

The dam is now a quarter built and Ethiopia says it will start producing its first 750 megawatts of electricity by the end of this year. In the sandy floor of the Guba valley, near the Sudanese border, engineers are laying compacted concrete to the foundations of the barrage that will tower 145 meters high and whose turbines will throw out 6,000 megawatts - more than any other hydropower project in Africa.

So far, Ethiopia has paid 27 billion birr ($1.5 billion) out of a total projected cost of 77 billion birr for the dam, which will create a lake 246 km (153 miles) long.

Ethiopia’s Renaissance Dam: ending the logic of might over the Nile Basin

Published: Apr 23, 2014 by bini Filed under: Ethiopian News
Ethiopia’s Renaissance Dam: ending the logic of might over the Nile Basin
By Mansour Al Hadi (Ph.D.)

Fierce resistance to the construction of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) project has an unprecedented and strong presence in the major circles of Egyptian media, academia and polity based upon the water policy of ‘I win if you lose.’ Recent unsubstantiated hypothetical calculations made by Egyptian officials and opinion makers have suffered from scientific and logical imprecision.

In an interview with Tahrir satellite channel, Egypt’s Foreign Minister Nabil Fahmy on Friday March 7, 2014 reminded Ethiopia that his country would take “a decisive response” on the construction of the GERD if future negotiations failed. He also underscored that “Addis Ababa should bear the consequences of that crisis.” This entails that there are people who would like to ride the boats of the passing ages within the helm of myth, Pax Britannica, Cold War, Pax Americana and unilateral water security cards.

Swaying between cooperation and contention, Egypt’s persistence on a choiceless singular water policy to make the Nile River prey to its exclusive utilization, use and development becomes customary. This deep-rooted unquenchable thirst for ‘water imperialism’ and the securitization policy of the River were implanted by Muhammed Ali, the first ruler of present day Egypt.
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