Egypt hosts Grand Renaissance Dam talks

Egypt hosts Grand Renaissance Dam talks

Egypt is hosting the Grand Renaissance Dam talks with irrigation ministers from Sudan and Ethiopia in attendance. Ethiopia is building a dam on the Nile but Cairo is worried that it will affect its share of the Nile most of which is used for agriculture. Despite their differences, President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi has stated that the diplomatic ties between the three countries cannot be limited to water resources as he called for a larger cooperation to support their respective development agendas.

nil-dams-talksEgypt is against the multi-million dollar project of the Renaissance Dam but Ethiopian President Mulatu Teshome has stated at the beginning of the month that around 40% of the project has already been executed. Official talks between Cairo and Addis Ababa have been held but Egyptian officials admit that many issues concerning the construction of the Ethiopian dam remained unresolved although a breakthrough has been reached.

The River Nile passes through several countries. Ethiopia’s Irrigation minister said they are willing to cooperate with Nile Basin countries to assure that each country has an equitable access to the Nile water. Egypt did consider the bombing of the Renaissance Dam if it fails to convince Ethiopia not to go ahead with the project.

A consultancy firm of experts will be chosen by the three countries for an exhaustive study on the dam’s impact on the river Nile. Ethiopia has given assurances to Cairo that its annual share of Nile water supply will not be affected but the latter is unconvinced.

The Sudanese irrigation minister said the Nile Basin countries should “build trust.” He added that the opening session has had a “positive outcome” thus far while the Egyptian Minister stressed “similar goals” and “mutual benefits.”

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