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8 February 2016

Egypt resigns from EAPP until concerns over Nile are resolved

Egypt has withdrawn itself from the East African Power Pool (EAPP) due to concerns around member states looking to develop hydropower plants along the Nile River.

The East African reported that the north African country turned down the document to adopt the master plan for the EAPP’s hydropower projects in Ethiopia and Sudan, which are both located along the Nile River.

Adopting the master plan

The ten member states including, Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Egypt, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Sudan, Tanzania, Libya and Uganda, gathered a Council of Ministers’ meeting in Addis Ababa recently to officially adopt this plan.

Lebi Changullah, secretary-general of the EAPP, said that the master plan, which has already been adopted by the member states, will be implemented despite Egypt’s concerns.

“I don’t think Egypt’s refusal to sign the document will affect the implementation of the master plan because it has been approved by the rest of the members,” Changullah said.

He added that those countries dependent on the Nile River have signed a treaty with Egypt on equitable use of the Nile waters, The East African reported.

“Egypt’s concerns on the River Nile will be addressed by the Nile Initiative, but that will not stop countries from proceeding with their plans,” he added.

The EAPP master plan will act as a blueprint for regional power integration over the next 25 years.

Interconnection of member states

The master plan includes the construction of transmission lines, which will be implemented between 2016 and 2017 and commissioned by 2020, The East African reported.

“The lines include Sudan-Ethiopia; Rwanda-Tanzania; Uganda-South Sudan and Uganda-Kenya. The Libya-Egypt and Egypt-Sudan interconnections will wait until Egypt’s concerns are addressed,” media reported.

Egypt has raised concerns over the interruption of water supply to its agricultural sector, which relies solely on the Nile for water. The countries concerns extend to include the construction of Ethiopia’s Grand Renaissance Dam on the Nile, as it will significantly cut the flow for its rapidly increasing population, The East African reported.

 

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