• World - Africa
  • Updated: March 24, 2023

Ethiopia: Controversial Nile Dam Construction Nears Completion

Ethiopia: Controversial Nile Dam Construction Nears Completi

The Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) in Guba, Ethiopia, on February 19, 2022.

Ethiopia has said the overall construction of its controversial mega dam project, Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) has reached the 90 per cent mark.

The Office of National Coordination for the Construction of the Dam made this announcement during an event commemorating the GERD's 12th anniversary of the foundation stone's laying.

The announcement from Addis Ababa comes just a few days after Egypt renewed its warning against Ethiopia over the latter's multibillion-dollar dam project, which when finished will be the largest in Africa.

Cairo issued a further warning on March 15 stating that "all options are on the table" to address any concerns the Ethiopian mega-dam may pose to its water supply.

"We just declare all options open without defining specific procedures, and this serves the Egyptian interest in retaining all available alternatives,” Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry warned.

“Egypt takes disciplined stances towards Ethiopian intransigence", he added.

A day later, Addis Ababa reacted angrily, calling the Egyptian Foreign Minister's remarks "irresponsible."

Meanwhile, Sudanese Finance Minister Gibril Ibrahim stated on Thursday that the power provided by GERD will not only be sufficient for neighbouring nations but will also contribute to the overall growth of the area.

In an exclusive interview with the state-run Ethiopian News Agency (ENA), the minister stated that economic development is impossible without power.

"We think the new dam is going to help us [Sudan] have enough cheap energy from Ethiopia," he said.

On the other hand, the food production from Sudan's vast arable land can help Ethiopia's needs, he said and emphasized that the countries "need to work together on agriculture to make sure that all of our people are getting enough food."

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