Trilateral Meeting on Renaissance Dam Ended without Deal

ADDIS ABEBA – Ethiopia, Egypt and Sudan have failed to reach a final agreement on the filling up and operation of what will be Africa’s biggest hydro-electric dam Addis Ababa is building on River Nile.

It was the Ethiopian Ambassador to the U.S. Fitsum Arega that revealed the outcome of the meeting on tweeter saying that the latest round of talks held in Washington on Thursday by water ministers from the three countries ended without a deal.

The Ambassador’s statement does not specify why no agreement was reached.

During the two day meeting, the ministers reviewed progresses on technical issues and legal articles.

“Progresses are made but the agreement still needs more work to be finalized by end of this month,” said Dr. Seleshi Bekele, Minister of Water, Irrigation and Energy.

Seleshi’s office together with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs will now hold national consultation with relevant institutions, professionals and concerned Ethiopians in the coming week.

It aims to build consensus on results and way forward, said Dr. Seleshi.

Ethiopia, Egypt and Sudan had last month agreed on an initial deal, following talks mediated by the US and World Bank, that the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) should be filled in stages during the rainy season.

But more negotiation was needed before the final agreement could be finalized this month.

Ethiopia, which is building the dam, wants to start generating electricity as soon as possible.  Close to half of its population have no access to electric power.

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