Ethiopia says difference with Egypt will not impact ongoing dam construction

As the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia expresses firm stand that sovereignty will not be up for negotiation, unconfirmed reports emerge that top Ethiopian government authority has ordered revision of construction plan.

Ethiopia _ Egypt _ Dam
Nebiyat Getachew, MFAE spokesperson briefing reporters. Photo credit : MFAE

September 20, 2019

Days after Ethiopia Egyptian proposal on the Grand Renaissance Dam on grounds that it violates the sovereignty of Ethiopia, Ministry of Foreign Affairs  Spokesperson, Nebiyat Getachew, told reporters in the capital Addis Ababa on Friday that the difference with Egypt will not affect the ongoing construction of GERD.

Egypt’s position on the construction of the Dam was found to be a threat to the sovereignty of Ethiopia, Nebiyat is cited by Walta Information as saying.

He was making a reference to Egypt’s position during the latest round of tripartite talks between Ethiopia, Sudan and Egypt in Cairo last weekend.

According to Nebiyat, Egyptian position is in a collision course with a recommendation by scientists drawn from the three countries. 

Among other things, Egypt wants to have its own engineers to be part of the GERD construction team, to maintain Aswan Dam at 165 meters high and GERD to release  40 billion cubic meters of water annually.

Ethiopia has rejected it all. Ethiopia’s position is that the maximum amount of water that GERD can release per year is anywhere between 29 billion to 35 billion cubic meters.

Primary interest on the Ethiopian side is to the continuation of a cooperative approach among riparian countries based on the principle of equitable use of the water, and also wants recommendation from the team of experts to be accepted by the parties to the negotiation.

Ethiopia, he added, will in no way accept anything that will compromise its sovereignty.

In a related development, Wazema Radio reported on Friday that a top Ethiopian government authority ordered the revision of construction plan of GERD. Originally, the dam was designed to have about 16 turbines so as to generate well over 6000MW of power. The new direction from a government authority, based on Wazema report, ordered the cancellation of two turbine installation which means that the dam will now have only 14 turbines.  However, no other Ethiopian media outlet reported about it at this writing.

Egypt, Ethiopia, and Sudan are due to meet at the end of this month in Khartoum. Ethiopia and Sudan will present their proposal during this meeting which is expected to take place between September 30 and October 2.  Then the ministerial level tripartite meeting between the three countries will continue on October 4 and 5 based on the result of the previous meeting.

What will happen if Egypt continues to demonstrate tendencies to dictate the meeting in a way that violates the sovereignty of parties to the agreement remain unclear. 

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3 Responses to "Ethiopia says difference with Egypt will not impact ongoing dam construction"

  1. rezen   September 21, 2019 at 2:35 pm

    Honest Opinion, 21 Sept 2019
    1st. The sovereignty of Ethiopia CANNOT be determined by Egypt.

    2nd. Egypt’s negative posture and attitude against Africans in totality is NOT a new phenomenon.

    3rd. Observe this statement>>>Quote “Among other things, Egypt wants to have its own engineers to be part of the GERD construction team” Unquote. A dry statement which means Egypt demands to administrate, guide and control the entire operation of GERD. Which means, unsurprisingly, Egypt has no respect for the sovereignty, history and dignity of Ethiopia — and, for that matter, for the entire Black Africa.

    4th. Permit me for not being diplomatic: Would Egypt react in the same manner with White European entity? Of course NOT. Egypt’s attitude towards Black Africa is well known.

    5th QUOTE:”What will happen if Egypt continues to demonstrate tendencies to dictate the meeting in a way that violates the sovereignty of parties to the agreement remain unclear”. UNQUOTE”. In my humble opinion, after the huffs and puffs, Egypt would come to REALITY and to the History of Ethiopia.

  2. Eyob   September 22, 2019 at 2:07 pm

    I love the Egyptian people and history but I absolutely hate their views on sub-Saharan Africa aka black Africa.

    Firstly let me make this as clear as possible. The Nile is 85% Ethiopian, and15% belongs to other SS African countries. Egypt should be thankful to the ss African countries for their charity in allowing Egypt to build whatever it wants on it for so long.

    secondly, Ethiopia can at any moment cut the flow of water to Egypt. destroying Egypt with a single blockage. once a Ethiopian king threatened to do it doe to Egypt crackdown of Coptic Christians in Alexandria. but decided not to do it due to his understanding of the immense human loss of such an action. so needless to say ethiopia does not need a dam to instantly block the Nile.

    Thirdly, Ethiopia will build it, no matter what Egypt says or does. war will not work, a quick look at history will tell you war with ethiopia has never ended well for the aggressor, specially Egypt.

    lastly, they should pay ethiopia for a longer duration of the filling of the dam if they really think it is a matter of national security. not threaten the sovereignty of the lion of Juda.

  3. Coptic   September 23, 2019 at 11:38 am

    Less negativity and biased opinions. It is good to be fair and prosperity for two nations. Two nations that equals 200 million in total trade together that should focus strictly on business and partnership of trade to excel together forwards in a positive cooperative.manner. No negativity nor egos. This will alleviate poverty and bring growth which is a win win for all. Only economic trade makes unity and prosperity.


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