Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia eye second round of talks on GERD
Ethiopia, Sudan and Egypt failed to hammer an agreement over the contentious Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) project on the Blue Nile, despite retreating for a two-day meeting in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
The Egyptian Minister of Irrigation, Hani Sewilam, said the meeting ended fruitless, citing rigidity from the Addis Ababa administration to the calls to accept a compromise for “globally approved upon technical arrangements that would allow her to use the dam without violating the rights and interests of the two downstream countries.
Hani stated that, there is a “[need] to demonstrate the political will and seriousness necessary to reach, without delay, a binding legal agreement on the rules for filling and operating the Renaissance Dam.
However, the Ethiopia’s chief negotiator, Seshele Bekele, denied the allegations, saying the county is committed to negotiating with Egypt and Sudan in good faith to reach a solution.
Bekele posted on his X handle, that, “the multilateral discussions on the Renaissance Dam were concluded with indication that the delegations swapped productive ideas on numerous issues with the goal of linking the differences amongst the parties.”
Aljazeera reported that, in February 2022, Addis Ababa announced that the dam had started producing electricity for the first time. At full capacity, the huge hydroelectric dam – 1.8km (1.1 miles) long and 145 metres (476 feet) high – could generate more than 5,000 megawatts.
This would allow Ethiopia’s production of electricity, which is currently covering about a half of the country’s population of 120 million.
Egypt and Sudan, dependent on the Nile’s waters for agriculture, drinking water and general livelihoods, which requires highlighting the significance of finding a fair solution.