Ethiopia FM in Washington to Discuss Renaissance Dam

ADDIS ABEBA – An Ethiopian delegation led by Foreign Minister Gedu Andargachew is in Washington to partake in a United States-sponsored meeting over the Renaissance Dam.

Last week, officials of Ethiopia, Egypt and Sudan agreed at talks in Cairo aimed at resolving a feud over the dam project on the Nile to hold a ministerial-level meeting in Washington.

Foreign Minister Gedu has left for the U.S. late Sunday.

“The delegation will participate in a meeting on Wednesday that aimed at assessing results found in the fourth and fifth meetings of the Ministers of Water Affairs of Ethiopia, Egypt and Sudan over the filling and operation of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam,” said Ministry of Foreign Affairs in a statement today.

The three Nile Nations set a January 15 target for resolving the dispute on how to fill and operate the dam being built by Ethiopia,

US President Donald Trump has agreed to mediate at the request of Egypt, which fears that the dam would disrupt the river flow.

Egypt currently bases its share of the river’s waters on a 1959 colonial-era deal that gave it 55.5 billion cubic meters water annually, and Sudan 18.5 billion cubic meters.

The other 9 countries were not given allocations at that time. Ethiopia was not a party to the agreement and does not recognize it.

Ethiopia, which contributes more than 80 percent of the water for the Nile River, says the project will only be used to generate electric power.

With the construction of the dam, Addis Ababa plans to become Africa’s biggest power exporter, with a projected capacity of more than 6,000 megawatts.


File/Reuters Photo: Grand Renaissance Dam is seen as it undergoes construction work on the river Nile in Guba Woreda of Benishangul-Gumuz region