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June 21, 2021
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Ethiopian Dam a matter of “equitable access to power and sovereignty”

About four-fifth of the Ethiopian Dam is now reportedly completed as Ethiopia aims to undertake the second round of filling in the coming rainy months

Bottom outlet work underway as Ethiopia prepare to undertake second phase of filling reservoir during the rainy months this year. (Photo : Social Media)

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As Ethiopia celebrated the 10th anniversary of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) project, Ethiopian Deputy Prime Minister Demeke Mekonnen on Wednesday said that the project is a matter of ensuring equitable access to electric power and sovereignty. 

“no one can stop Ethiopia’s right to use its share of the Nile River. Now our focus is to continue the critically important activities in accordance to our plan,” he is quoted as saying.  

He was speaking at a symposium organized at the Skylight hotel in the capital Addis Ababa to commemorate the tenth anniversary of the project which was initially  intended to be completed within five years. 

Point out that Ethiopia will ensure “a better existence” for its citizens, the Deputy Prime Minister and the Foreign Minister called upon all Ethiopian to stand and work together to finish the remaining works of the project. 

Seleshi Bekele, Minister of Water, Irrigation and Energy, talked about the benefits of GERD for lower riparian countries. 

Among other things, the symposium discussed progress of the project, the tripartite negotiations and stakeholders engagement with the aim to mobilize more support for it. 

It was indicated that 79 percent of the construction is completed. Ethiopia aims to generate electricity from two turbines following the second phase of filling during the rainy months of July and August of this year. 

When completed, the Ethiopian Dam is expected to generate over 6000 megawatts of power with which Ethiopia seeds to address the conditions of about 65 percent of its 110 million population with no access to electric power and also ensure reliable power supply for the manufacturing sector. 

Egypt and Sudan had a consultation about GERD negotiation a week after the two countries signed military cooperation. Earlier this week, Sudan formally requested the United Nations, European Union, United States and the African Union to mediate the stalled tripartite negotiation. 

Furthermore, Sudan stated that the second phase of filling will endanger Sudan’s national security if done without consensus with Sudan. 

Ethiopia reacted to it saying that only tripartite desirable to resolve the difference between the three countries on the operation and filling of the dam, and that the filling of the second phase will be conducted as planned in line with international laws. 

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