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Ethiopia defies Egypt with Nile dam plans

Hydroelectric project likely to reduce Egyptian water share

AP , Wednesday 30 Mar 2011

Ethiopia's government says it plans to build a hydroelectric power dam along the Blue Nile River despite objections from Egypt and Sudan. Water and Energy Minister Alemayehu Tegenu said Wednesday the dam will benefit Ethiopia, Egypt and Sudan.

He says the dam in western Ethiopia will provide power at competitive rates to other countries and offer irrigation opportunities as well. It will be about 30 kilometres from Sudan's border.

Ethiopia says the dam will cost as much as US$5 billion and can be done without foreign aid.

Egypt has previously refused any deal that would reduce its share of the Nile and give more access to other countries. A 1929 colonial-era treaty gives Egypt majority rights to the Nile's waters.

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