Ethiopians Chip in 122.5mln Birr to GERD Via SMS-8100 A

ADDIS ABABA – Ethio-Telecom has handed over 122.5mln birr raised from the public via Short Message Service (SMS-8100 A) for the construction of the renaissance dam to Ethiopian Electric power (EEP).

The CEO of the telecom company, Freihiwot Tamiru, gave the check to Ashebir Balcha CEO of the state-run EEP, owner of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) project, on Thursday.

The amount raised in the third round this year almost equals the contribution made in the previous two rounds.

Ethio telecom collected 80mln birr and 49mln birr in the first and second rounds of the fundraising campaigns, respectively.

Freihiwot her company has managed to collect a total of 252mln birr from the public via SMS-8100 A.

The GERD Construction project is estimated to cost close to 5 billion US dollars.

Lack of international finance for projects on the Blue Nile River due to Egypt’s alleged persistent campaign to maintain presumed hegemony on the Nile water share forced Ethiopia to finance the project from within.

Since the beginning of the construction, Ethiopians have contributed a total of 15 billion birr via various ways including buying Dam bonds and direct support, said Dr. Aregawi Berhe, head of the National Council for the coordination of public participation for the construction of GERD.

Dr. Aragawi also said Ethio Telecom has accepted his office’s request for the continuation of the fundraising campaign via SMS-8100 A for the next six-month.