DR Congo to host talks on Ethiopian Renaissance Dam

ADDIS ABABA – The foreign and water ministers of Ethiopia, Egypt, and Sudan will meet in Kinshasa from Saturday for talks on the controversial Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam on the Blue Nile, Ministry of water said today.

The three-day meeting will be hosted by President Felix Tshisekedi, who took over the chair of the African Union last month.

“The GERD trilateral discussion is expected to resume over the coming weekend under the chairmanship of the new AU Chair, the #DRC and based on extended invitations by the chair to Ministers of Foreign Affairs and Ministers of Water and Energy Affairs of the three countries,” said Seleshi Bekele, minister of Water, Irrigation and Energy.

The chairman of the AU’s Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat, AU experts, observers and experts of the three countries are also expected to attend, according to the minister.

Egypt and Sudan earlier this month urged the DRC to steer efforts to relaunch negotiations on the contested GERD being built at a cost of $4.6bn.

The Nile, the world’s longest river, is a lifeline supplying both water and electricity to the 10 countries it crosses.

Despite contributing more than 86 percent of the water to the river, Ethiopia used the least from the resource.

The GERD is expected to change that with the country putting a high hope on the hydroelectric power produced by the dam will be vital to meet the energy needs of its 110 million people.

“NIle is a transboundary water resources and GERD project is a crucial infrastructure for energy generation for Ethiopia but also supports development and better management of this precious,” Seleshi said.

“Resources in the downstream countries by enhancing positive role of water and reduce positive impacts of water like flood and droughts . Ethiopia as always determined for principled, equitable & reasonable utilization without causing significant harm,” he said.