News / Africa

    Egypt, Ethiopia, Sudan Sign New Dam Project Accord

    FILE - A general view of Ethiopia's Grand Renaissance Dam, as it undergoes construction, is seen during a media tour along the Nile in Benishangul Gumuz Region, Guba Woreda, in Ethiopia, March 31, 2015.
    FILE - A general view of Ethiopia's Grand Renaissance Dam, as it undergoes construction, is seen during a media tour along the Nile in Benishangul Gumuz Region, Guba Woreda, in Ethiopia, March 31, 2015.
    Reuters

    Egypt, Ethiopia, and Sudan signed an agreement Tuesday finalizing the two firms tasked with carrying out studies on the potential impact of Ethiopia's Grand Renaissance Dam on the flow of the Nile, the countries' foreign and water ministers said.

    The three countries had initially picked French firm BRL and Dutch firm Deltares in April, but Deltares later withdrew, leading them to replace it with French firm Artelia on Tuesday.

    The leaders of the three countries signed a cooperation deal in Khartoum in March that paved the way for a joint approach to regional water supplies.

    Cairo and Addis Ababa had previously been locked in a bitter war of words over Ethiopia's $4 billion project.

    Tuesday's agreement came after talks between the foreign and water ministers of the three countries had to be extended for a third day.

    Technical studies will start in February, when the six ministers are due to meet again, and will take between six and 15 months, said Moataz Mousa, Sudan's  minister of water resources, irrigation and electricity.

    But even before the impact studies have been started, officials say 50 percent of the dam's construction has been completed.

    "We are satisfied with the results of this meeting and look forward to achieving a strategic partnership," said Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry.

    Accord's principles

    The principles in the March agreement included giving priority to downstream countries for electricity generated by the dam, setting up a mechanism for resolving conflicts, and providing compensation for damages.

    Signatories also pledged to protect the interests of downstream countries when the dam's reservoir is filled.

    Addis Ababa has long complained that Cairo was pressuring donor countries and international lenders to withhold funding from the 6,000-megawatt dam, which is being built by Italy's largest construction firm, Salini Impregilo SpA.

    Egypt, which relies almost exclusively on the Nile for farming, industry and domestic water use, has sought assurances that the dam will not significantly cut the river's flow to its rapidly growing population.

    Ethiopia, the source of the Blue Nile, which joins the White Nile in Khartoum and runs on to Egypt, says the dam will not disrupt flow. It hopes the project will transform it into a power hub for the electricity-hungry region.

    "We see the agreement over these companies as progress and look forward to actualizing the interests of the three countries. We believe the dam will be useful to the three countries," said Ethiopian Foreign Minister Tedros Adhanom.

    The Grand Renaissance Dam is the centerpiece of Ethiopia's bid to become Africa's biggest power exporter. Addis Ababa plans to spend some $12 billion on harnessing its rivers for hydro power production in the next two decades.

    You May Like

    Who Are US Allies in Fight Against Islamic State?

    There is little but opportunism keeping coalition together analysts warn — SDFs Arab militias are not united even among themselves, frequently squabble and don’t share Kurds' vision for post-Assad Syria

    Video For Many US Veterans, the Vietnam War Continues

    More than 40 years after it ended, war in Vietnam and America’s role in it continue to provoke bitter debate, especially among those who fought in it

    Family's Fight Pays Off With Arlington Cemetery Burial Rights for WASPs

    Policy that allowed the Women Airforce Service Pilots veterans to receive burial rites at Arlington had been revoked in 2015

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Mesfin Mulugeta
    January 02, 2016 9:23 AM
    France is having billions dollar business of sales jets and more with Egypt, how come both study group became from France are you kidding? Must be two of different country, countries with no big economical relations with both countries.

    by: Wotabo Kebede from: Nazareth, Ethiopia
    December 30, 2015 7:26 AM
    I have read that the world can no longer depend on hydro electric power due to the ever increasing depletion of surface and underground water as a result of the environmental and climate changes. The future generation will face a huge shortfall in drinking water let alone power generation. It is the African countries that will greatly feel the impact of environmental degeneration and thereby the acute shortage of water. The serious advice of experts in the field is to resort to renewable energy sources such as wind, thermal and solar energies that the African continent is blessed with. African leaders and their energy ministers should give it a serious thought before throwing their dime for mega hydro-electric projects and heed to the advice of international experts.

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnami
    X
    Elizabeth Lee
    May 22, 2016 6:04 AM
    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnam

    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video First-generation, Afghan-American Student Sets Sights on Basketball Glory

    Their parents are immigrants to the United States. They are kids who live between two worlds -- their parents' homeland and the U.S. For many of them, they feel most "American" at school. It can be tricky balancing both worlds. In this report, produced by Beth Mendelson, Arash Arabasadi tells us about one Afghan-American student who seems to be coping -- one shot at a time.
    Video

    Video Newest US Citizens, Writing the Next Great Chapter

    While universities across the United States honor their newest graduates this Friday, many immigrants in downtown Manhattan are celebrating, too. One hundred of them, representing 31 countries across four continents, graduated as U.S. citizens, joining the ranks of 680,000 others every year in New York and cities around the country.
    Video

    Video Vietnam Sees Strong Economic Growth Despite Incomplete Reforms

    Vietnam has transformed its communist economy to become one of the world's fastest-growing nations. While the reforms are incomplete, multinational corporations see a profitable future in Vietnam and have made major investments -- as VOA's Jim Randle reports.
    Video

    Video Qatar Denies World Cup Corruption

    The head of Qatar’s organizing committee for the 2022 World Cup insists his country's bid to host the soccer tournament was completely clean, despite the corruption scandals that have rocked the sport’s governing body, FIFA. Hassan Al-Thawadi also said new laws would offer protection to migrants working on World Cup construction projects. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Infrastructure Funding Puts Cambodia on Front Line of International Politics

    When leaders of the world’s seven most developed economies meet in Japan next week, demands for infrastructure investment world wide will be high on the agenda. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s push for “quality infrastructure investment” throughout Asia has been widely viewed as a counter to the rise of Chinese investment flooding into region.
    Video

    Video Democrats Fear Party Unity a Casualty in Clinton-Sanders Battle

    Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton claimed a narrow victory in Tuesday's Kentucky primary even as rival Bernie Sanders won in Oregon. Tensions between the two campaigns are rising, prompting fears that the party will have a difficult time unifying to face the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Portrait of a Transgender Marriage: Husband and Wife Navigate New Roles

    As controversy continues in North Carolina over the use of public bathrooms by transgender individuals, personal struggles with gender identity that were once secret are now coming to light. VOA’s Tina Trinh explored the ramifications for one couple as part of trans.formation, a series of stories on transgender issues.
    Video

    Video Amerikan Hero Flips Stereotype of Middle Eastern Character

    An Iranian American comedian is hoping to connect with American audiences through a film that inverts some of Hollywood's stereotypes about Middle Eastern characters. Sama Dizayee reports.
    Video

    Video Budding Young Inventors Tackle City's Problems with 3-D Printing

    Every city has problems, and local officials and politicians are often frustrated by their inability to solve them. But surprising solutions can come from unexpected places. Students in Baltimore. Maryland, took up the challenge to solve problems they identified in their city, and came up with projects and products to make a difference. VOA's June Soh has more on a digital fabrication competition primarily focused on 3-D design and printing. Carol Pearson narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora