ADDIS ABABA – Ethiopia Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has defended his country’s right to use its resources as the schedule to start filling the Grand Ethiopian renaissance dam’s reservoir close in on.
Located near its border with Sudan, the $4.5 billion Dam will be Africa’s biggest hydroelectric power plant once completed.
The negotiations center on the pace at which Ethiopia fills the 74 billion cubic meter reservoir behind the dam and the impact that could have on water supplies downstream in Sudan and Egypt.
Ethiopia has started works to start filling the reservoir within few months amid Sudan and Egypt said a comprehensive agreement must be reached before the start of the water filling.
“Ethiopia does not have a history of causing harm to others nor are we interested now in harming others. Our need is only one – to develop & prosper. And to remove our people from the grips of poverty.
“More than 50million Ethiopians do not have access to electricity, he said, while 92 percent of Egyptians having access.
“To this day Ethiopian mothers still carry firewood,” he said. “Meeting their basic rights and needs is of paramount importance”.
“Development of GERD is therefore for our growth as it is equally to the benefit of lower riparian countries. Seeing this project in a positive light is therefore critical,” he added.