Egypt and Ethiopia's FMs discuss Renaissance dam in Brussels

Ahram Online, Wednesday 2 Apr 2014

The two African foreign ministers had a 'frank and open discussion' that included Ethiopia's Grand Renaissance Dam, a source of contention between the two countries

Nabil Fahmy
Egypt's foreign minister Nabil Fahmy (Photo: Reuters)

Egypt's foreign minister Nabil Fahmy met on Wednesday with his Ethiopian counterpart Tedros Adhanom at the two-day EU-Africa summit in Brussels.

According to Al-Ahram's Arabic news website, Fahmy said that his meeting with Adhanom included "a frank and open discussion" on the stance of both Egypt and Ethiopia regarding different matters that concerns both states, including the water of the Nile and the Grand Renaissance Dam (GDM).

No further details were released from the meeting.

On Friday, Adhanom said his country insists on holding talks with Egypt, despite construction for the dam continuing unabated and announcements that it will begin to generate electricity by 2015.

Ethiopia’s planned GDM is expected to be the largest hydroelectric dam on the continent, with 16 turbines, two of which would generate 375mw of power each.

The dam has been a source of concern for Egypt, who worries its share of the Nile's water would be negatively impacted.

Both Egypt and Ethiopia have engaged in negotiations on the dam but to no avail, with Ethiopia insisting the dam won't affect Egypt's water supply and Egypt arguing that not enough research has been conducted on the possible impact of the dam.

The two African countries along with Sudan had previously formed a tripartite technical committee to study the possible impacts of the dam and to attempt to generate consensus on the project.

However, the committee's efforts were thwarted in December when Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir announced his support for the Renaissance Dam during a meeting with Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn.


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