As previously reported by Energy Afrique, Ethiopia’s recent announcement of the completion and final filling of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) on the Nile has heightened a long-standing water dispute with downstream nations Egypt and Sudan, with Egypt condemning Ethiopia’s move as “illegal.”
The second round of trilateral negotiations on the mega-dam ended inconclusively on Sunday in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, following a two-day talk as Ethiopia pledged to continue the discussions “in good faith.”
Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed had earlier highlighted the challenges and external pressures faced during the dam’s construction when he declared the successful filling earlier this month. Valued at $4.2 billion, the GERD poses concerns for Egypt and Sudan, who fear it will significantly reduce their share of Nile water.
According to Al Jazeera, Egypt’s Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation announced that the latest round of discussions concerning the $4.2 billion dam concluded without making any significant progress.
Ambassador Seleshi Bekele, head of the Ethiopian negotiating team, stated in a release on Sunday: “[The parties] exchanged constructive ideas on various outstanding issues… Ethiopia reiterates its commitment to continue negotiating in good faith,” Aljazeera reported.
Ethiopia, with a population of 120 million people, announced in February 2022 that the dam had begun generating electricity for the first time. At full capacity, the enormous hydroelectric dam, measuring 1.8 kilometers (1.1 miles) in length and 145 meters (476 feet) in height, could generate more than 5,000 megawatts, potentially doubling the country’s electricity production.