The talk on the Grand Renaissance Dam among Ethiopia, Egypt and Sudan might collapse as Ethiopia’s foreign affairs minister, Gedu Andargachew hinted his country might withdraw permanently fromthe negotiation table if Egypt walks out of the current round of talks.
Ethiopia is building the dam and Sudan and Egypt are stakeholders with Egypt saying the project will allow Ethiopia to control the flow of Africa’s longest river.
Egypt does not want Ethiopia to fill the dam until an agreement is signed. Egypt said the project poses a threat as they rely on the Nile for 90% of their fresh water.
Construction of the dam began in 2011, and it promises to be Africa’s biggest hydroelectric power plant at his maximum capacity.
The impasse on the talk has been controversial as Ethiopia threatens withdrawing and accused Cairo of obstinacy.
Ethiopian Prime Minister, Abiy Ahmed had earlier said it will forge ahead to filling the Grand Renaissance Dam because the country needs to develop and provide electricity for its people and not intended to create any diplomatic rift.
The Prime Minster said his country had already lost money because of delays and they are tired of begging.
He clarified that intention to develop the dam was noble and not to harm other countries.
The speed with which Ethiopia fills up the dam’s reservoir will affect the flow downstream for Sudan and Egypt.
Abiy argued that about 50 million Ethiopians had no clean drinking water or electricity and that the project is no different than fulfilling the basic rights like that of Egypt where 98% of people have electricity”.