Ethiopia’s Mega Projects Inspiration for Africa: American University in Moscow Senior Fellow

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Addis Ababa November 9/2022 /ENA/ The mega projects Ethiopia is doing and has completed are demonstrating resource abundance that could facilitate an industrial renaissance and inspire Africa, American University in Moscow Senior Fellow Matthew Ehret said.

The scholar told ENA that the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) is a great inspiration that happened in Africa.  

“The Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) is one of the greatest inspiring things that have happened in Africa. Despite the fact that it had begun a decade ago, its acceleration and enthusiastic building and construction has moved at such a rapid pace to such a success that all of the haters have said it was impossible.”

The project is in the right track as turbines have already started generating hydro-electric power, he stated, adding that completing this project will facilitate industrialization.   

The progressing GERD and the Chinese-built Ethio-Djibouti railway in action are big projects that demonstrate abundance of resources and facilitate industrial renaissance, Matthew noted.

“So, demonstrating that abundance can be created and an industrial renaissance process can be put into motion. We already have a railway, which have been built wonderfully by China and the fruit of it are not being felt yet… It takes time to plant the seeds and witness them turn into a ripe garden. Real wealth takes time.”

According to him, with respect to the GERD too and in all of the secondary and tertiary industries that can be and will be built up both in Ethiopia and across the entire Horn of Africa is very good. “We have to really look towards the future because it might take 5 to 10 years for the real positive to start being felt.”

The scholar pointed out that China, for instance, achieved industrialization in decades compared to the West which took them about 300 years; and China, Gulf States and others could be important development partners to Ethiopia and other African countries.  

Amid doing the projects in Ethiopia there were and are challenges and critics, Matthew noted, adding that “the best way to counteract those critics who continuously condemn you and re-emphasize on how much you will fail is to be successful…. Because they are committed to preventing the source of projects which we have seen arise in a wonderful way by the current Ethiopian Government that has really advanced very nicely.”

Note that the overall construction of GERD is over 83 percent with two turbines that started generating electric power.

The Ethio-Djibouti railway, the first electrified railway connecting the two countries, has been transporting import-export freights, and people between the neighboring countries.

Ethiopia is also doing infrastructure development that connect it with neighboring countries and facilitate regional integration.  

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