Egypt, Ethiopia, Sudan to finalise Blue Nile dam agreement this month

Ministers from Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan agreed on Wednesday to reconvene in Washington later this month to finalise an agreement on a giant hydropower dam on the Blue Nile that sparked a diplomatic crisis between Cairo and Addis Ababa.

Thursday, January 16, 2020

The ministers met in Washington this week and agreed to fill the $4 billion Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) in stages during the wet season, taking into account the impact on downstream reservoirs, the US Treasury Department, which hosted the meeting, said in a joint statement with the countries and the World Bank.

Initial filling of the dam, due to begin in July, will aim for a level of 595 metres above sea level and early electricity generation, while providing appropriate mitigation measures for Egypt and Sudan during severe droughts, the statement said.

The ministers will hold technical and legal talks ahead of their January 28-29 meeting in Washington, where they plan to finalise the agreement, the statement said.

Cairo fears the dam, announced in 2011 and under construction on the Blue Nile near Ethiopia’s border with Sudan, will restrict supplies of already scarce Nile waters on which its population of more than 100 million people is almost entirely dependent.

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