Ethiopia kicks off 8100A fundraising for Mega Dam Project completion

Ethiopia’s third round of fundraising drive ,8100A , to fund the completion of the Ethiopian Grand Renaissance Dam launched in the wake of escalating hostile rhetoric from the side of Egypt

Dam _ fundraising _ Ethiopia
It’s my dam 8100 A fund raising campaign poster

March 4, 2020

Foreign media tend to describe Ethiopia’s US 5 billion dollars mega-dam project as a “controversial dam project.”  

Many Ethiopians do not seem like that expression. As far as Ethiopia is concerned, there is nothing controversial about it. It is an Ethiopian Dam meticulously designed in a way not to affect the water flowing to the lower riparian country. 

It has been several weeks since Ethiopians kicked off social media campaign with the hashtag #Itismydam 

Even critics of Ethiopian government have the same stand with the government when it comes to Ethiopia’s Grand Renaissance Dam. 

A remarkable aspect of the project is that it is 100 percent funded locally. And today, Ethiopia launched the third round of fundraising 8100 A.

Ethiopian Dam _ Fundraising _ 8100 A
Ethiopian senior government officials (including president Sahle-Work Zewde) launching 8100 A fundraising campaign. Photo credit : EBC

President Sahle-Work Zewde launched the program in a ceremony organized at the National Palace.  Foreign Affairs Minister, Revenue Minister, Culture and Tourism Minister, and Governor of the National Bank of Ethiopia were among senior-level government officials present during the launching ceremony.

The fundraising program will take about six months.

“The Dam a collective wealth reflects people’s collective hope, and there is a need to strengthen the support for it,” President Sahle-Work Zewde asked Ethiopians in her message.  She reiterated that Ethiopia would remain to observe international law while exercising its right to use its natural resources and water from Abay (Nile river).  

So far, over 18.9 billion Ethiopian birrs was raised from Ethiopians, and the government of Ethiopia covers the rest of the cost.

Seleshi Bekele (Minister of Water, Irrigation, and Energy) said during a press conference on Tuesday that Dam is now 71 percent completed. The project was initially intended to be completed in five years. The delay brought about a hike in project costs.

Ethiopia intends to start filling it starting this coming July.

As Egypt is escalating aggressive rhetoric about the use of any means to defend “historical rights” after failing to reach an agreement with Ethiopia regarding the operation and filling of the Ethiopian Grand Renaissance Dam, Ethiopia says that Egypt will not benefit from the aggressive policy.

Ethiopia’s position regarding the Dam is legally, morally, and economically tenable, said Ethiopia’s Minister for Foreign Affairs Minister, Gedu Andargachew.

The Ethiopian government recently disclosed its “disappointment” with a statement from the United States’ Department of Treasury that has been part of the negotiation with Egypt and Sudan as an “observer.”

The US warned Ethiopia that it should not start filing the Dam before signing an agreement with Egypt and Sudan – a position that has triggered outrage towards the USA in Ethiopia.

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