By Wuhibegezer Ferede and Dereje T/Mariam
Tigrai Onlne Mekelle, Ethiopia - January 15, 2014
In most of the studies that focus on the issues of the horn of Africa, the region that embraces the two protagonist riparian states of the Eastern Nile Basin (Ethiopia and Egypt) and their neighbors, we uncover antithetical mix of laden natural resource endowment and horrible crisis.
In many studies, scholars usually underestimate the impact of the former for the intensification of the latter rather they simply identify the area as epicenter of fragile states, pandemic political instability, calamitous economic downturn, chronic poverty, horrific humanitarian crisis and chronic insecurity.
Therefore, these prognostication and conclusions about the root causes of the trajectories sank into a sweeping generalization that attributes them to the primordial and contextual conflicts, inefficient institutions, impermeable cultural values, natural calamities, foreign intervention and lack of skilled human capital capable of turning the threats into opportunities. But, all these explanations failed short of addressing what can exactly be done to break the cycle of the crisis and the question what’s wrong with the region and the contentious debate about the critical forces that trigger these trajectories still remains tenuous albeit multifarious interventions. Moreover, the intervention approaches failed to be fitting models other than highlighting proximate sign posts.
Therefore, the purpose of this book is to unveil the root causes for the economic down turn and tribulations that had been prevailing Ethiopia, one among the core states of horn of Africa, in light of the delicate water politics of the Eastern Nile Basin. Thus, the book addresses how the Egyptian hegemony in the ‘Eastern Nile Basin’ influences the economic metamorphosis, the political development and the diplomatic relation of Ethiopia with its neighbors in the core Horn of Africa (HoA) and as well with Egypt itself.
Historically, the aforementioned issues were fundamentally mingled with and radiated from the water politics of the Nile because the Nile, the dominating physical feature of the region, has always been a pillar of securitization and political instrument of Egypt. Every single Egyptian ruler that assumed power even in the early BC was associating the longevity of reigns to the assurance of the perennial flow of the Nile.
The book also explains the instruments that enabled the Egyptians to hold a hegemonic position in the appropriation of the Nile. In this regard, it discloses so far uncovered extraordinary issue of how the ritualization and enculturation of water myth and articulation of refined social control mechanisms guised in religious affinity were instrumentalized to justify lean years and as well for weakening the rise of a balancing hegemony in the region. It disclosed how water related myths were produced, refined and invested in Ethiopia to make the Nile the sole gift and sacred husband of ‘sardonic Egypt.’
This venture was further consolidated by soft and hard power projections over the headwater regions and thereby Egypt held a hegemonic position which remained intact for millennia till the onset of Ethiopian renaissance drive. Hence, the book explains the all rounded wrangling held between Egypt and Ethiopia due to the stubborn position of the former for maintaining its position intact.
After comprehensive discussion over these themes, the book focuses on illuminating the adoption of alternative national strategies from imperial to the Derge for quick-fix remedies to the aforementioned predicaments without addressing the simmering cause bedeviled in the Nile water politics and the concomitant counterfeit.
Finally, the book addresses the determination of Ethiopia for the democratization of the utilization and the benefits of the Nile river on the basis of social equity, economic efficiency and ecological integrity both as sine qua none for the anomalies in the eastern Nile Basin and as well for the takeoff of its revival by inaugurating the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam(Meles’s Pyramid) and the optimistic head starts of NBI(Nile Basin Initiative) in fostering these tenets in spite of the Egyptian nostalgic love towards the old creeds of colonialism.
In general, the book assesses the effect of Egyptian realist proto-colonial projection and destabilizing adventurism, the codification of coercive and exclusive Nile water agreements, the enculturation projects, the ritualization of myths, incapacitating interventions and as well the sterilizing mechanisms of agents of the crisis management and coping strategy over the peoples of Ethiopia in connection of its neighbors since the pharoanic times.
Outline Of The Book
The book begins with a description about the physical geography, the demography characteristics and the cultural setting of the region. The second chapter emphasizes on the intellectual imagination and the epistemological foundations of the earliest adventurers, missionaries, geographers, historians to unveil the mysteries of the Nile. Thus, in this portion of the study the hydrography, the physical character and the varying climatic zones it crosses are vividly surveyed.
The third chapter is dedicated for explaining the concept of hydro-hegemony and interstate relationships between Egypt and Ethiopia. Chapter four focuses on the legalization and institutionalization of the utilization of the Nile River. It narrates about the unfounded legal claims of Egypt on the basis of the colonial relics which are epistemologically non-African in origin.
Chapter five highlights the economic down turn that had been experienced in Ethiopia and the Horn of Africa. In this regard, after explaining the theoretical tents, major emphasis is given how the issue of water is detrimental than any other resource in shaping the economic base and the prospect of development in the region. This portion of the paper explains about the contentious debate on the issue of the under development of the region, and provides a note of optimism about its future. The hub of the final two chapters is a discussion about the onset of Ethiopia renaissance drive, the inauguration of the Grand Renaissance Dam, and the eventual dilapidation of Egyptian undisputed hegemony over the Eastern Nile Basin.
This text represents part of the authors’ study at Mekelle University. The views stated herein are those of the authors and not necessarily of the University. The book is not allowed to be available for circulation outside the University without informed consent from the authors.
Wuhibegezer Ferede/Dereje Teklemariam
Mekelle University, Ethiopia
Our heartfelt gratitude goes to the determined leaders who dared to reverse the course of the subservient history of Ethiopia over the Nile that predates the BCs. Moreover, we would like to forward our sincerest gratitude to all peoples and institutions that are dreaming & drawing hardly any pessimistic cartoons about the future fate of Ethiopia either on the sheets of their documents or in the unveiled walls of their mind.
Blessed are those who are burdened with the hard slog of effacing the country’s chronic problems so that Ethiopia could assume a rising position back to its glorious past!! We owe them heartfelt gratitude.
We are also indebted to our Late Premier Meles, the luminous star who dazzled over every historical burden and set in motion the engine of change that could uplift the country back to its glorious past. We wonder his determination in letting the indicating star in motion towards prosperity through an all-out onslaught on poverty by breaking chain of structural failure that has kept us in bondage of suffering for ages.AcronymsBMC: Billion Meter CubeCIDA: Canada International Development AgentEOTC: Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahido ChurchGDP: Gross Domestic ProductHOA: Horn of AfricaHYDROMET: Hydro Meteorological Survey of the Equatorial LakesILA: International Law AssociationMDG: Millennium Development GoalNILE COME: Nile Council of MinistersPJTC: Permanent joint Technical CommitteeSAP: The Subsidiary Action ProgramSVP: The Shared Vision ProgramUN: United Nations Contents PageDisclaimerAcknowledgmentAcronymsTable of Contents.List of tables and Charts.IllustrationsPreface Chapter-One1. INTRODUCTION1.1. Historical and Conceptual Background1.1.1. The Geographical Setting and the demographic character of the region1.1.2. Opportunities and Hurdles of the Region22.214.171.124. Opportunitiesa) Natural Capital bestowsb) Social Capital: Melting pot of Culturesc) Sanctuary of Africa’s Oldest Civilizationsd) Geo-political and Strategic Center126.96.36.199. Historic burdens and Hurdles1.2. EARLY IMAGINATIONS AND THE SEARCH FOR THE SOURCE/S OF THE NILE1.2.1. Naming: Why White, Black or Blue1.2.2. Early Imaginations about Nile River and establishment of Hegemonic Epistemology1.2.3. The Hurdles of the Explorations and the Prominent Explorers188.8.131.52.European Adventures184.108.40.206. The African Peasants as early Explorers220.127.116.11. The de-Africanization of the Black Nilea. Hellenization and Romanization of the Nileb. The Arabization and Islamization of the Nile1.2.4. The Geography, Hydrological setting and Sub Basins18.104.22.168. Hydrography of the Nile22.214.171.124. Sub Basins: Tributaries and Distributariesa. The Abbay / Blue Nile Sub-Systemb. The Tekeze/Atbara Sub-Systemc. The Baro-Akobo/ Sobat Sub-System Chapter-Two2. THE PRAXIS OF HYDRO-HEGEMONY AND DIPLOMACY2.1. Conceptualization of Hydro-hegemony 2.1.2. Diplomacy for equitable utilization of International Rivers CHAPTER-THREE3. THE TRIADS IN THE ETHIO-EGYPTIAN RELATION: WATER, CROSS AND SWORD3.1. Review of Ethio-Egyptian Relations3.2. Faith and Water: The Commingling of Religion and the Nile Politics3.2.1. Exchange of Bishops for Water3.2.2. Strategic Shift from Christian fraternity to Political Islam3.3: Ethiopian Emperors warnings of arresting the Nile3.4. Faith and Bullets: Military Invasion guised in Civilizing Mission3.4.1. Early Phase of the Egyptian encroachment of Ethiopia and the Horn3.4.2. The battle of Gura and Gundet: The annihilation of the Egyptians and Euro-American mercenaries3.4.3. The tactic of fishing in troubled waters: Destabilization Projects and Proxy wars Chapter-Four4. REGIME FORMATION AND INSTITUTION BUILDING IN THE EASTERN NILE BASIN4.1. Theories and Legal doctrines for the utilization of International Rivers4.2. Historical development and conceptual bases of International Water Law4.3. Review of Treaties in the Eastern Nile BasinI-Anglo-Italian ProtocolII-Anglo-Ethiopian TreatyIII-The Tripartite TreatyIV-The Anglo-Italian Secret AgreementV-The 1929 Nile Water AgreementVI-The 1959 Nile Waters Agreement for the Full Utilization and ControlVII-The Ethio-Sudanese Agreement Regarding the NileVIII-The Ethio-Egyptian Framework Agreement:4.4. The Institutionalization Process4.6. Reviewing the efficacy and the Lacuna of Nile water treaties Chapter-Five5. ECONOMC DEVELOPMENT APPROACHES IN ETHIOPIA5.1. Development Approaches: from Japanizers to Developementalism5.1.1. From Japanizers to Socialist Experiment5.1.2. Post 1991: Road towards Developmentalism5.2. An Emerging African Tiger CHAPTER-SIX6.: POWERING ETHIOPIAN DEVELOPMENT THROGH RENEWABLE ENERGY6.1 Water- Food - Energy-Nexus:6.1.1 Water for Food Security6.1.2. Water as Foot Print of Energy6.2 Ethiopia-The Tower of Africa’s Clean Energy Resource6.2.1.The Booming of Renewable Energy in Ethiopia6.2.2. Solar and Wind Energy Resources6.2.3. Hydro Power Projects6.2.4. Geothermal Energy Resources Chapter-Seven7. THE GRAND ETHIOPIAN RENAISSANCE DAM (GERD) AND THE DYNAMICS IN THE CONTEMPORARY EASTERN NILE BASIN7.1. The Grand Renaissance Dam Project7.2. Ethio-Egyptian Diplomatic Fallout and Re-engagement7.2.1. The discourse of Red Line and, Blitzkrieg/Strike from Sadat to Mursi7.2.2. International Diplomatic Wrestling7.2.3. Rapprochement and glimmer of hope for inclusive treatyConclusionBibliography