Though Egypt and Sudan are well aware of the importance of the Grand Ethiopia Renaissance Dam (GERD) to all the three countries, they have been opposing the project believing that the country could emerge as a regional power, an Ethiopian activist underlined.
In an exclusive interview with ENA, the Ethiopian activist Mecca Adam explained the development benefits of the GERD for Ethiopia, Egypt, and Sudan.
She noted that the construction of GERD would pave the way for Ethiopia to accelerate its development.
Apart from its national development advantages to Ethiopia, the GERD will also provide affordable electric energy to the Horn of Africa, including Egypt, the activist elaborated.
In addition to its contribution in reducing the accumulation of silt and the cost incurred on the downstream countries for its mitigation activities every year, GERD is a good opportunity to enhance cooperation and economic integration in the region, Mecca pointed out.
“Egypt and Sudan are well aware of this,” she said, adding that the countries are however engaged in activities that disrupt the construction of the dam with the assumption that Ethiopia could emerge as a regional power, about which they are not happy.
Emphasizing Ethiopia’s sound legal position and the right to utilize its natural resources for the benefit of its people without harming others, the activist stated that Ethiopia needs the dam to provide electricity for its 60 million people living in darkness.
Regarding the dispute on the second round filling of the dam, Mecca said the filling is an integral part of the construction process as agreed under the Declaration of Principles (DoP).
The ongoing support provided by the people of Ethiopia across the world has been playing a pivotal role for the successful diplomatic efforts being registered regarding the GERD, she added.
Mecca called on the people of all the three countries to promote cooperation in order to utilize the Nile for the benefits of the respective countries.
She stressed the need for Ethiopia to popularize the overall objective of the GERD and its benefits to the region so as to make Arab countries and the Middle East understand the reality about the project.
Ethiopia generates 85 percent of the Nile River flow, but colonial agreements have given Egypt the disproportionate amount of water while giving Sudan a lesser amount. These agreements gave zero water to Ethiopia. Egypt today wants to keep the old colonial arrangement in place in one form or another.