Once the GERD mega project is completed, Ethiopia will turn its attention to clean up internal and external security threats for good.
Ethiopian mega project GERD progressing with unreserved support
By Fekadu W.
Tigrai Online, May 7, 2018
The Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam progressing with unreserved support
Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and his high-profile accompanying delegation concluded on 3rd May, 2018 a two-day visit to Sudan where they held talks with President Omar al-Bashir, and a number of Sudanese ministers and senior officials, according to Sudan Tribune.
It said the two sides affirmed their keenness to consolidate relations between Sudan and Ethiopia in all areas. The meetings touched on the latest political, economic and security development in the Horn of Africa, in addition to international economic transitions.
Meanwhile, earlier Egyptian Foreign Minister, Sameh Shoukry said he had invited the foreign and irrigation ministers and intelligence chiefs of Ethiopia and Sudan for a meeting, which was set to take place on April 20, 2018, according to Middle East Monitor. It said the meeting was aimed to resume discussions on the (GERD) following the failure of the recent talks which were held in the Sudanese capital, Khartoum.
It was said Shoukry regretted the fact that Addis Ababa and Khartoum didn’t respond to his invitation.“We had not received any response neither from the Ethiopian nor the Sudanese side on our invitation to resume negotiations over the GERD”, Shoukry said adding we lost another chance to reach a solution for the Dam’s technical problem.”
The minister explained his country had exerted all efforts during the Khartoum meeting, and negotiated “in good faith and appreciation of the interests of all the partners,” stressing that “Cairo proposed a vision that benefits everyone”. He stressed , despite all our efforts, we did not see a reciprocal interest from the other side [Sudan and Ethiopia] and Egypt will wait until there is a desire from our partners to raise the matter once more.”
However, analysts are stating that the language employed by the minister is ordinary and it expressed business as usual. Action speaks louder than words. Egypt is known for its stealthy and stubborn stand on Nile. Everyone is stating that Egypt is blowing hot and cold while it is creating hassles on the process of negotiation; it said the 1959 colonial agreement is binding while Ethiopia and the rest of Nile basin countries are not signatories (except Sudan).
Imagine a country that has formulated and has been implementing deconstructive policy to hinder other Nile Riparian countries from utilizing Nile water currently discussing in ‘’good faith’’. Secret in public, Egypt’s ‘water security’ policy is based on a Nile water obsession. It attempts to block all venues that can lead to a fair and equitable distribution of the Nile waters. In some cases, where a co-basin country lays a plan to use the water in its own territory, the Egyptians have often reacted by making threats of war and conflict-laden statements (Tafesse 2001:83–91).
In line with this, the London-based BRICS POST stated that Egypt has no rational diplomatic efforts and its new water preservation policies are not enough to save the country from a looming water crisis. Besides, unfortunately, Ethiopia simply has no other alternative to compromise its interest except continuing negotiation and striking fair deal.
Therefore, the BRICS POST recommended that Egyptian leadership needs to mull over changing its approach: First, it has to say enough wit secrecy and colonial agreements that are bilateral: Egypt has understandably remained tight-lipped on all the details of disagreement for fear of ruining its chances of securing a fair deal. Taking in to account that the negotiations are failing, Egyptian authorities should steer themselves off the enigmatic and subversive policies that focus on prohibiting other Nile Riparian countries from utilizing Nile water.
Statistics has proved that Ethiopia’s electricity demand is growing by 25% per annum and it is difficult for Ethiopia to meet this huge demand without pursuing economic growth and industrial development using untapped renewable water resources. Therefore, development of renewable energy sources is predominant objective and exigent task of Ethiopia to satisfy its insatiable demand of energy and sustain its well-oiled economic progress: Ethiopia has formulated green development economy founded on utilization of renewable energy resources such as hydropower.
Ethiopia undoubtedly wants to use Nile for electrification purposes. The water only rotates turbines and resumes its natural course, no reason for Egypt to panic. There would be negotiation and rational filling. Colonial times and their defunct agreements are non-binding to all countries and are unacceptable these days; the only way out is negotiation. Egypt’s intransigence and holier than you stand is already nullified by the emergence of Nile Basin Initiative (NBI).
Ethiopia had last March celebrated the seventh year progress of the GERD with various assortments. The foundation for the GERD was laid on March 24, 2003 E.C. by the Ex-Prime Minister Meles Zenawi. Since then, construction activities are being carried out non-stop to help finalize the project.
With the aim to pursue further economic growth, Ethiopia has launched country-wide scheme to mobilize its abundant water resources for poverty alleviation and economic transformation: Among several large hydropower projects that are in progress now, the GERD is the overriding one. Up on finalization, with storage capacity of 73 billion m3 of water, the GERD would be the largest dam in Africa.
A lot has been said about the GERD. Currently, close to 11,000 workmen and women are dauntlessly toiling up the hills of Guba, in Benishangul Gumuz State, where the GERD is located. Their unconquerable spirit defying the scorching environment is tempered by patriotism and national vision to finalize the project and benefit from huge electrification.
As part of the effort to show their partnership, thousands of Ethiopians across the country including farmers, merchants, athletes, artists and journalists had been endlessly contributing in cash and in kind. They have also been visiting site to help rally more support. They said that the construction is well on progress and confirmed that construction is awesome and vowed to support the project until finalization.
The GERD has witnessed that nation has built the capacity to undertake mega projects worth billions of dollars. Everyone knows that this capacity was unimaginable some decades before (radical U-turn from the world tarnishing the image of Ethiopia as famine-stricken). Up on finalization, the project will make Ethiopia well known for its huge capacity of electricity generation and taming of the wilderness of Blue Nile (proves Ethiopia’s engineering prowess to check the unchecked run of Nile to the benefit of its citizens).
Unflappable stand of the country and far-sighted decision of the government to construct the GERD has played key role to the success gained in the construction. As a springboard to the present success, the government has formulated workable policy and strategy to improve energy supply and materialize nation’s vision of poverty reduction.
And GERD is the predominant development stance of Ethiopia to showcase its insuperable endeavor to fight poverty through electricity production (from utmost exploitation of natural resources). Indubitably, the project would contribute its own to become self-reliant in electricity production.
The mega project being undertaken on Nile has raised national pride to unparalleled zenith and heralded the capacity of nation to undertake giant projects. It has also motivated citizens to work tirelessly and cast out the specter of `` impossible `` entrenched for many years in connection with exploiting Nile (it is a secret in public that we do have lots of songs and hymns that praise Nile as insurmountable monster).
Ethiopians are proud of their capacity of constructing gigantic Dam as big as the GERD. Until now, over 65 percent of the construction has been finalized. And preparations are well under way to start generation of 750 MW of electricity from two turbines in the coming September, though some time behind schedule due to instability that rocked the country for two years.
GERD is being financed by the contribution of the people of Ethiopia and it has overcome short-term agenda of politics, time and place. Hence, it has become unshakable pillar of national unity, consensus, pride and emblem of poverty alleviation. It has become major flag carrier structure being erected on Blue Nile. Waiting to be realized with the solidified effort of people, the Project has unified all people for noble cause of development: alleviation of poverty in a meaningful manner and realization of renaissance of the country.
Striding slowly but surely, GERD has become sure to be finalized as the participation of citizens abroad and at home has been increasing with time. And the amount of financial and in kind assistance flowing to the Project has been burgeoning time after time. The assistance has been continuing unabated (despite reluctance of some individuals to pay the amount they pledged on due time). More or less, the Project is witnessing tangible increment and it is expected to be fruitful soon.
Ethiopia will move heaven and earth to fully materialize Nile cooperation reverse age-old and selfish use of the river (perverted by the propagandists of Mubarak and colonialists of Britain). Similarly, the activity started to strengthen cooperation through GERD will continue relentlessly.
Indisputably, nation will keep on its unreserved effort to finalize the construction and employ it for development; prioritizing its development agenda and poverty alleviation mission (without surrendering to any regional and international hegemony and pressure as has been seen until the start of the construction of the GERD).
The GERD is sure to be finalized. Currently, all citizens are providing unreserved assistance. Citizens are willingly supporting the project as a symbol of national pride and self-funded construction. Let alone citizens at home, Diaspora Ethiopians are supporting the GERD as much as they could. Indisputably, Ethiopia will keep on its unreserved effort to finalize the GERD and employ it for development; prioritizing its development agenda and poverty alleviation mission.