AUC Chairperson

Over 90% of Issues in Nile Dam Negotiations Resolved, AU Chief Says

ADDIS ABABA – More than 90% of issues in the tripartite negotiations on the giant Nile dam between Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan have been resolved, African Union said on Saturday.

The African Union has two weeks to help broker a deal to end a decade-long dispute over water supplies.

In a statement issued on Saturday, African Union Commission Chair Moussa Faki Mahamat said a committee composed of representatives of the three countries, South Africa and technical personnel from the African Union would work to resolve the outstanding legal and technical issues.

The committee will issue a report on the progress of the negotiations in a week.

Leaders of the three Nile states agreed on Friday to reach an agreement on the faltering trilateral technical and legal negotiations on within two weeks.

After the meeting, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed called the discussion “Fruitful”  and appreciated current African Union Chairperson and President of South Africa Cyril Ramaphosa for “facilitating these high-level talks of continental significance”.

Ethiopia launched the $5-billion Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) project in 2011 near its border with Sudan.

Egypt has claimed that the dam will reduce the flow of Nile waters downstream while Ethiopia maintains that it needs the dam for national development as well as regional electricity interconnection.

Ethiopia hopes to retain 4.9 billion cubic meters of water during the coming rainy season in July and August as part of the first-phase filling and the volume will be enough to test two turbines in mid-2021.