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ANALYSIS-Political change in Egypt to boost Nile cooperation

Tigrai Online
May 12 2011

After decades of mistrust and sabre-rattling, the fall of Hosni Mubarak will improve Egypt's ties with Ethiopia and boost the chances of a new deal to share the Nile's waters.

The two most populous countries in Africa after Nigeria have been at loggerheads over the Nile's precious water for years, with Egypt unwilling to budge from colonial-era treaties dating back to 1929 that give it two-thirds the river's annual flow.

Ethiopia, however, is busy building a mega dam on its share of the river. Eighty-five percent of the Nile's water originates in Etiopia and it is exploiting the river to try and reduce chronic power shortages.

Before Mubarak resigned in February, Ethiopia and five other Nile Basin states had agreed a new treaty which would reduce Egypt's share of the waters and remove its veto over upstream projects which could slow the flow.