Ethiopia to go on with second filing of GERD in July 2021: Ethiopian PM

Zeinab El-Gundy , Tuesday 23 Mar 2021

Ahmed says GERD completion is irreversible

Abiy Ahmed
Prime Minister of Ethiopia Abiy Ahmed Ali (L) speaks during a press conference with South African President at the Union Buildings in Pretoria. AFP

Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed said on Tuesday that his country would go on with the second filing of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam next July in the upcoming rain season.

In a speech covering recent developments in the country at the annual meeting of the House of People in Addis Abba, Abiy said that Ethiopia may lost USD 1 billion if it does not go with the second filing.

Egypt and Sudan have warned repeatedly from unilateral actions from Ethiopia’s side.

They also warned that the water security of both countries will be in danger if Ethiopia goes on with the second filing of the GERD.

Last year, Ethiopia finished the first filing of the dam without the approval of Egypt and Sudan.  

Both downstream countries are demanding that a legally binding agreement be reached on the filling and operation of the dam before the second filling.

Currently the talks between the three countries under the auspices of the African Union have not been resumed since reaching a stalemate in January 2021.

During this speech in front of the Ethiopian parliament, Ahmed said that this country could not cause harm to the Egyptian people and that Ethiopia aimed to generate electricity from the dam.

“What Ethiopia wants is to benefit from the dam, without causing harm to others. However, our brothers on the other side should also understand that we do not want to live in darkness,” he said. 

Ahmed said his government will realise the completion of GERD against all odds as promised to the public; “this is irreversible.”

Ahmed also pointed out in his speech that Ethiopia has the potential for energy and Sudan for agriculture.

“Ethiopia did not have the intention to harm anyone. It would therefore be mutually beneficial to invest in these sectors and prosper together. Our desire has always been to grow together.” he said. 

He also asserted that the GERD could not prevent the natural flow of water to Egypt and Sudan, and that despite Ethiopia contributing more than 80% of the Nile River, it aims to reserve 5% of rain waters.

Egypt has been vocal about its concerns that the GERD may reduce its water share from the Nile River, which is the sole source of water in the country.

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