Technical talks over Renaissance dam kick-off in Addis Ababa

ESAT News (January 06, 2016)

A technical team from Ethiopia, Sudan and Egypt are holding talks in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa over the latter’s controversial Grand Renaissance Dam, according to a report by Ahram online.

The talks come after the three countries announced last Tuesday –following a week of discussions between top officials – that they came to an agreement that permitting field visits to the dam area need approval by Egyptian and Sudanese experts.

Ahram online quoted Egypt’s Irrigation Minster Hossam Moghazi as saying Wednesday that the technical delegation includes five experts who will offer their findings on the possibility of increasing openings in the dam and modifying its designs.

Ahmed Abo-Zeid, Egypt’s foreign ministry spokesperson, announced on Tuesday that contracts with the two French firms carrying out studies on the impact of Ethiopia’s Grand Renaissance Dam on downstream countries’ water shares will be signed in early February in Khartoum.

The two firms are Artelia and BRL.

The Grand Renaissance Dam, set to be completed in 2017, will be Africa’s largest hydroelectric plant with a storage capacity of 74 billion cubic metres of water.

However, Ethiopia says that the dam will not cause harm to any Nile Basin country, arguing that it is mainly aimed at generating electricity in a country where only 10 percent of the population have consistent electricity services.