Ethiopian state minister for foreign affairs, Ambassador Berhane, says that the benefits of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam will include the ability for Egypt to obtain electricity from Ethiopia. Berhane emphasises that the dam is not being constructed for irrigation or farming, but for generating electricity.

“The water will pass through turbines to conduct electricity, and then continue its flow,” and Egypt will not be harmed by the dam. “On the contrary, Egyptians can get electricity from Ethiopia after the dam’s construction is complete.” Egypt has been suffering from electricity shortages which have resulted in increasingly recurrent power cuts nationwide, even in winter months.

The Egyptian government announced early this month that it planned to boost the country’s supply of electricity by importing natural gas and diesel and would be beginning construction of three new power plants. Sudan president Omar Al-Bashir says he sees Ethiopia’s development as benefiting Sudan.

These speakers met at a forum in late April 2014 to discuss how best Ethiopia could maintain sustainable and equitable utilisation and management of the Nile water, as well as consider the role of governments, African organisations and riparian state scientists in encouraging deepening cooperation of the Nile Basin states.

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