News / Africa

    Ethiopia, Egypt Meet to Ease Nile Dam Tensions

    The construction of the dam in Asosa region Ethiopia, Apr. 2, 2013.  Ethiopia started to divert the flow of the Blue Nile river to construct a giant dam, a move that could impact the Nile-dependent Egypt.
    The construction of the dam in Asosa region Ethiopia, Apr. 2, 2013. Ethiopia started to divert the flow of the Blue Nile river to construct a giant dam, a move that could impact the Nile-dependent Egypt.
    Marthe van der Wolf
    Egypt and Ethiopia are taking steps to defuse tension over Ethiopia's diversion of the Nile River to construct a massive hydroelectric dam.
     
    The ministers of foreign affairs from both countries held talks in Addis Ababa on Monday and Tuesday. At issue: the tensions that rose after Ethiopia began diverting part of the Blue Nile to advance construction the Great Ethiopian Renaissance Dam.
     
    Ethiopian Foreign Minister Tedros Adhanom told reporters in Addis Ababa Tuesday that both nations have agreed to implement recommendations made by an international panel of experts and to hold further talks.
     
    “Both ministers, in a spirit of brotherly relations and mutual understanding, agreed to embark on consultations at the technical and political levels," Adhanom said, "with the participation of the Republic of Sudan, to implement in a speedy manner the International Panel of Experts' recommendations.”
     
    The diplomatic language is a far cry from the heated exchanges over the $5 billion dam, which Egypt fears will threaten its vital water supply.
     
    Most Nile river water originates in Ethiopia. However, colonial-era treaties written by Britain gave Egypt as much 87 percent of the Nile's flow.

    Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi has gone so far as to warn this month that "all options" were open in terms of his country’s response to the dam project.
    Grand Renaissance DamGrand Renaissance Dam
    x
    Grand Renaissance Dam
    Grand Renaissance Dam

     
    The high-level talks come after Ethiopia last week became the sixth country to back replacing colonial-era treaties with a new commission to oversee Nile projects. Rwanda, Burundi, Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda have already signed the agreement. Egypt is among several nations that have yet to do so.

    Despite the calmer language, Egyptian Foreign Minister Mohammed Kamel Amr says his country need not apologize for some of its politicians who suggested the right course of action may be to sabotage the construction of the dam.
     
    “It’s not a matter of regrets or apologies," he said. "Some pronouncements were made in the heat of the moment, or because of their emotions. No regrets were required.”
     
    Minister Tedros is expected to travel to Cairo soon to continue talks over the dam’s possible impact.  
     
    Ethiopian officials argue Egypt can make up any reduction with better water management.

    The construction of the dam started two years ago and is about 20 percent done. When completed in 2017, it will transform Ethiopia into Africa’s biggest producer of electricity.

    You May Like

    Chechen Suspected in Istanbul Attack, but Questions Remain

    Turkish sources say North Caucasus militants involved in bombing at Ataturk airport, but name of at least one alleged attacker raises doubts

    With Johnson Out, Can a New ‘Margaret Thatcher’ Save Britain?

    Contest to replace David Cameron as Britain’s prime minister started in earnest Thursday with top candidates outlining strategy to deal with Brexit fallout

    US Finds Progress Slow Against Human Trafficking in Africa

    Africa continues to be a major source and destination for human trafficking of all kinds -- from forced labor to sexual slavery, says State Department report

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: AYOMAR
    June 27, 2013 4:13 PM
    The historical, running Nile water, has to date a potential of absolute amicable intra-regional relationship; when regarded from a peaceful world outlook. This most preferable alternative is, of course, possible as long as the responsible leaders of each Nile Basin countries accept each other's reasonably growing concern and genuine needs. A self centered and arrogant expression either from the downstream or upstream countries, on the other hand, may only lead to rivalry. Interdependent common river water basin countries should be free _free from destructive rivalry in order to save future generations of our children. Growth is not an end in itself. We do not live to grow; but we do grow to live better. A peaceful way rather than rivalry can, probably, lead to freedom, stability, and prosperity. A common Nile Basin Initiative strategy to grow/change together based on consensus is likely to enhance a regional cooperation.

    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.
    Clinton Leads Trump, But Many Voters Don't Like Eitheri
    X
    Jim Malone
    June 29, 2016 6:16 PM
    In the U.S. presidential race, most recent polls show Democrat Hillary Clinton with a steady lead over Republican Donald Trump as both presumptive party nominees prepare for their party conventions next month. Trump’s disapproval ratings have risen in some recent surveys, but Clinton also suffers from high negative ratings, suggesting both candidates have a lot of work to do to improve their images before the November election. VOA National correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Clinton Leads Trump, But Many Voters Don't Like Either

    In the U.S. presidential race, most recent polls show Democrat Hillary Clinton with a steady lead over Republican Donald Trump as both presumptive party nominees prepare for their party conventions next month. Trump’s disapproval ratings have risen in some recent surveys, but Clinton also suffers from high negative ratings, suggesting both candidates have a lot of work to do to improve their images before the November election. VOA National correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Slow Rebuilding Amid Boko Haram Destruction in Nigeria’s Northeast

    Military operations have chased Boko Haram out of towns and cities in Nigeria’s northeast since early last year. But it is only recently that people have begun returning to their homes in Adamawa state, near the border with Cameroon, to try to rebuild their lives. For VOA, Chris Stein traveled to the area and has this report.
    Video

    Video New US Ambassador to Somalia Faces Heavy Challenges

    The new U.S. envoy to Somalia, who was sworn into office Monday, will be the first American ambassador to that nation in 25 years. He will take up his post as Somalia faces a number of crucial issues, including insecurity, an upcoming election, and the potential closure of the Dadaab refugee camp in Kenya. VOA’s Jill Craig asked Somalis living in Kenya’s capital city Nairobi how they feel about the U.S. finally installing a new ambassador.
    Video

    Video At National Zoo, Captivating Animal Sculptures Illustrate Tragedy of Ocean Pollution

    The National Zoo in Washington, D.C., is home to about 1,800 animals, representing 300 species. But throughout the summer, visitors can also see other kinds of creatures there. They are larger-than-life animal sculptures that speak volumes about a global issue — the massive plastic pollution in our oceans. VOA's June Soh takes us to the zoo's special exhibit, called Washed Ashore: Art to Save the Sea.
    Video

    Video Baghdad Bikers Defy War with a Roar

    Baghdad is a city of contradictions. War is a constant. Explosions and kidnappings are part of daily life. But the Iraqi capital remains a thriving city, even if a little beat up. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on how some in Baghdad are defying the stereotype of a nation at war by pursuing a lifestyle known for its iconic symbols of rebellion: motorbikes, leather jackets and roaring engines.
    Video

    Video Melting Pot of Immigrants Working to Restore US Capitol Dome

    The American Iron Works company is one of the firms working to renovate the iconic U.S. Capitol Dome. The company employs immigrants of many different cultural and national backgrounds. VOA’s Arman Tarjimanyan has more.
    Video

    Video Testing Bamboo as Building Material

    For thousands of years various species of bamboo - one of the world's most versatile plants - have been used for diverse purposes ranging from food and medicine to textiles and construction. But its use on a large scale is hampered because it's not manufactured to specific standards but grown in the ground. A University of Pittsburgh professor is on track to changing that. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Orphanage in Iraqi City Houses Kids Who Lost their Parents to Attacks by IS

    An orphanage in Iraqi Kurdistan has become home to scores of Yazidi children who lost their parents after Islamic State militants took over Sinjar in Iraq’s Nineveh Province in 2014. Iraqi Kurdish forces backed by the U.S. airstrikes have since recaptured Sinjar but the need for the care provided by the orphanage continues. VOA’s Kawa Omar filed this report narrated by Rob Raffaele.
    Video

    Video Re-Opening Old Wounds in a Bullet-Riddled Cultural Landmark

    A cultural landmark before Lebanon’s civil war transformed it into a nest of snipers, Beirut’s ‘Yellow House’ is once again set to play a crucial role in the city.  Built in a neo-Ottoman style in the 1920s, in September it is set to be re-opened as a ‘memory museum’ - its bullet-riddled walls and bunkered positions overlooking the city’s notorious ‘Green Line’ maintained for posterity. John Owens reports from Beirut.
    Video

    Video Brexit Resounds in US Presidential Contest

    Britain’s decision to leave the European Union is resounding in America’s presidential race. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, Republican presumptive nominee Donald Trump sees Britain’s move as an affirmation of his campaign’s core messages, while Democrat Hillary Clinton sees the episode as further evidence that Trump is unfit to be president.
    Video

    Video NASA Juno Spacecraft, Nearing Jupiter, to Shed Light on Gas Giant

    After a five-year journey, the spacecraft Juno is nearing its destination, the giant planet Jupiter, where it will enter orbit and start sending data back July 4th. As Mike O'Sullivan reports from Pasadena, California, the craft will pierce the veil of Jupiter's dense cloud cover to reveal its mysteries.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora