ADDIS ABEBA – Ministers from Egypt, Ethiopia, and Sudan will resume their talks over the filling and operation of Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) on Monday afternoon.
In a statement issued today, Ethiopia’s ministry of water said the AU led tripartite negotiation over the dam will continue for a week.
The meeting started last Monday but delayed at the request of Sudan that sought internal consultations. Officials agreed to meet again a week after and continue the negotiations with an aim to reach a fair agreement for all parties.
According to the Ministry, the current talks will be held based on the direction three nations leaders gave in mid-July, after which the prime minister Abiy Ahmed said the nile reached a “major common understanding which paves the way for a breakthrough agreement” on a significant dam project that has led to sharp regional tensions and fears of military confrontation.
The legal nature of the agreement on the GERD filling and operation is now the main source of divergence in the talks as parties agreed on over 95% of the technical issues of the long term process.
When fully completed, the GERD will be the largest hydroelectric dam in Africa and the Ethiopian government sees it as key to achieving economic stability and for raising citizens out of poverty.
The dam has become a point of pride, too.
Over the weekend, Ethiopians took to the streets to celebrate the dam’s construction progress and hashtags such as #ItsMyDam, #EthiopiaNileRights, and #GERD have been trending on Ethiopian social media.
Sunday´s celebration, called “One voice for our dam,” came after Ethiopian officials announced on July 22 that the first stage of filling the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam´s reservoir was achieved due to heavy rains.
Officials say they hope the $4.6 billion dam, fully financed by Ethiopia itself, will reach full power generating capacity in 2023.
Image Caption: The satellite image shows the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam on the Blue Nile river in the Benishangul-Gumuz region of Ethiopia on Tuesday, July 28, 2020. Prime minister Abiy on Wednesday, July 22, 2020, hailed the first filling of the massive dam that has led to tensions with Egypt, saying two turbines will begin generating power next year. (Maxar Technologies via AP)