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El-Sisi to discuss new Ethiopia dam with Desalegn in NY

Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi will discuss Ethiopia's new Baro Akobo dam project with the country's PM during UN General Assembly meetings in New York

Ahram Online, Monday 15 Sep 2014
Egypt`s president Abdel Fattah El-Sisi with the Ethiopian Foreign Minister Tedros Adhanom, June 9, 2014 (Photo: Al-Ahram)

Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi is expected to discuss Ethiopia's new dam project with the country's premier during UN General Assembly meetings in New York later this month.

Irrigation Minister Hossam Moghazi said on Sunday that El-Sisi was also expected to visit Addis Ababa soon for further talks on the matter with Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn.

Ethiopia recently secured a $583 million deal with two Chinese firms to build a dam on the Geba tributary of the Baro Akobo river basin in south-western Ethiopia.

The dam will have an estimated production capacity of 381 megawatts of electricity.

"Construction of the dam will start immediately and will be finalised within four years," Bezuneh Tolcha, head of public relations at the Ethiopian water ministry, told Anadolu news agency on Friday.

Egypt has been concerned about its water supply as Ethiopia embarks on dam projects on the Nile, most notably the giant $4.2 billion Grand Renaissance Dam project.

Last month, Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia's irrigation ministers signed an agreement to conduct two studies to gauge the effects of the Grand Renaissance Dam on its neighboring countries.

Meanwhile, Moghazi also said on Sunday that the Egyptian government was working closely with Ethiopia to collect as much data as possible on the Baro Akobo project.

According to Egypt's National Planning Institute, Egypt will likely need an additional 21 billion cubic metres of water per year by 2050 – on top of its current 55 billion cubic metre quota – to meet the water needs of a projected population of 150 million.

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