Ethiopia Secured its National Interest During Nile Dam Negotiation in D
The foreign ministers and water ministers of Ethiopia and Egypt meeting in Washington DC concluded on Wednesday. Reports suggest that the discussion was fruitful.
Foreign minister Gedu Andargachew and Dr.Sileshi Bekele minister of Water, Irrigation, and Energy had a press release from the Ethiopian embassy in the US. According to the statement, Ethiopia had not got into an agreement, which risks its national interest, and this continues to be a core principle.
The final technical negotiation meeting in Addis Ababa a week ago was not successful. According to Dr.Sileshi, that meeting was unsuccessful because Egypt came up with a sudden proposal of filling the dam. The filling timeline of the dam proposed by Egypt was from 12 to 21 years, which is unacceptable from the Ethiopia side.
On the other hand, the Addis Ababa meeting helped to narrow some gaps. The parties agreed that the filling of the dam would not be connected to the Aswan Dam of Egypt. And they also agreed about drought management and the amount of water to be released during regular seasons.
The Washington meeting was meant to finalize the four negotiation meetings in Ethiopia, Sudan, and Egypt. At the meeting, the parties agreed that the dam would be filled within 4 to 7 years.
Additionally, the release notified that skilled, highly responsible, and patriotic individuals are handling the Nile dam negotiations and legal cases.
The Great Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), which is being built on the Nile, the longest river in the world, could improve Ethiopia’s negotiation capacity, influenceability, and image. Ethiopian team assured that the negotiation had no intention to give away the countries benefits, but it is based on the principle of cooperative growth with the downstream.
Furthermore, the government of Ethiopia is determined to finalize the construction of the 6000MW hydroelectric dam, which is part of the plan of becoming the power hub of Africa. And besides generating electricity, the dam will have tourism and fish production purposes. According to the water minister, the filling of the dam will start in July.