Talks continue between Sudan, Ethiopia and Egypt to reach an agreement upon the criteria and mechanisms for building the Great Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), expected to generate 6000MW of electricity. The project includes 16 turbines, two of which will start generating 375 MW each in 2015.

According to the Middle East News Agency (MENA) Hossam Moghazi, Egypt’s Water and Irrigation Minister said: “We face drought and water scarcity in a manner which differs from the rest of the Nile Basin countries”

The building of the dam gave rise to tension between Ethiopia and Egypt, the latter stating that ‘the dam would negatively affect its share of the Nile water’. The dam is being built on the Blue Nile, which provides Egypt with 85 per cent of its Nile water.

Alemayehu Tegenu, Ethiopian Minister of Water and Energy assured it counterparts that Ethiopia means no ill-harm to either countries and re-emphasised Ethiopia’s dedication and commitment to the amicable outcome and success of the tripartite talks.

Tegenu stressed that the project will not only reduce poverty in the country, but is intended to benefit the ‘entire region’.

Advisors to the project carried out a risk assessment to determine the potential harmful effects that the building process might cause. The dam is to undergo further study to ensure that that it meets international standards. The Ethiopian Minister said the fourth round of discussions will take into account recommendations and findings of the advisory committee’s report, with special consideration given to the highlighted safety requirements.