ADDIS ABABA – Ethiopian Electric Power (EEP) has launched an online fundraising platform to enable Ethiopians abroad to contribute to the 6,450 megawatts dam being built on the Blue Nile river.
Many Ethiopians have contributed their resources, skills, and labour to the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), which needs 4.7 billion dollars to complete.
But lack of a centralized online platform has long been difficult for many Ethiopians who live far from their country, reads a statement posted inn the site.
The newly launched online platform, www.mygerd.com, will now “enable Ethiopians all over the world to easily make their GERD contributions in realizing Ethiopia’s Vision For Prosperity”, said the prime minister office.
The site was developed by Chapa Financial Technology,a homegrown fintech company, and launched by the EEP, the official project owner, on Saturday.
Zemen Bank, a local bank, agreed to cover the full cost of international money transfer, helping the entire contributions from Ethiopians abroad go to the construction.
The platform will further encourage the diaspora to enhance their financial support to realize the dam as it provides efficient service by reducing the existing manual system, said EEP’s CEO Ashebir Balcha, in an interview with Ethiopian News Agency.
He said its system also ensures transparency as it provides vital data including the identity of the donor and the amount of money donated.
Ethiopia started the construction of the Dam in 2011 through domestic finance mobilization after conventional financial institutions became reluctant to support the project.
Last fiscal year alone, nearly two billion Birr has been secured from the public via various fundraising schemes. Ethiopian diaspora contributed More than 192 million Birr came from the diaspora community.
With more than 80 percent complete, authorities started filling its reservoir last year and currently stored 18.4 billion cubic meters.
“The next milestone for GERD construction is to realize the early generation in the next few months,” said Seleshi Bekele, Minister of Water, Irrigation and Energy of Ethiopia, last week.