Nile Dam: Ethiopia, Egypt and Sudan conclude Without Agreement
We will have to wait some time before attending a final agreement in the negotiations related to a dam on the Blue Nile, an object of tension between Ethiopia, Egypt and Sudan. On Thursday, these three protagonists ended the talks without an agreement being reached.
The two days spent in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa, by the ministers of Water and Energy of the three countries were however supposed to lead to a consensus, but the parties camped on their positions, in particular on the subject of “filling of the reservoir and the use of the dam ”, backbone of the discussions.
According to the Ethiopian Minister of Water and Energy, Sileshi Bekele, the “Egyptian delegation has drawn up a new matrix for the filling process of the dam” and proposed to Ethiopia “to extend the filling time of the dam from 12 to 21 years old ”. An “unacceptable” option for Addis Ababa, which denounces Cairo’s lack of will.
I don’t think the Egyptian delegation was in the spirit of reaching an agreement when it came here for this meeting
“I don’t think the Egyptian delegation was in the spirit of reaching an agreement when it came here for this meeting,” said Mr. Bekele.
For Egypt, however, the slow filling of the dam should avoid drastically reducing the flow of the Nile on which Egyptian agriculture is heavily dependent.
Despite everything, the two parties managed to agree on a few points, however minor. For example, Ethiopia undertakes to wait until the start of the rainy season, in July 2020, before starting to irrigate the dam. “We have narrowed our differences on many other issues, including the drought mitigation strategy,” said the Ethiopian minister.
1.8 km long and 145 m high, the Great Renaissance Dam ( GERD ) must become the largest hydroelectric dam in Africa, and is essential, according to Addis Ababa, for the development of the country. The dam, which is estimated to cost more than $ 4 billion to build, is expected to start producing electricity by the end of 2020.
After nine years of fruitless negotiations, the players in the crisis hope to find an agreement. They gave themselves until January 15 to get there. They are also expected on Monday in Washington to report on the progress they have made so far. The United States and the World Bank being observers of the talks.