South Sudan economist says Ethiopian mega-dam powerful symbol of African empowerment
South Sudanese prominent economist and activist, Dr. Peter Biar Ajak, said Sunday that the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) will serve as a powerful symbol of African awakening and empowerment project.
JUBA – South Sudanese prominent economist and activist, Dr. Peter Biar Ajak, said Sunday that the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) will serve as a powerful symbol of African awakening and empowerment project.
Dr. Biar made this remark following inauguration of electricity production from the multibillion-dam on the Blue Nile by Ethiopian Prime Minister Dr. Abiy Ahmed on Sunday.
The $ 4.2 billion project is expected to produce more than 5,000 megawatts of electricity, more than doubting Ethiopia’s electricity output.
State media reported that the dam had started generating 375 megawatts of electricity from one of its turbines on Sunday.
“Aside from the fact that it will accelerate Ethiopia’s pact of industrialization with positive externalities for the region, the GERD serve as a powerful of African awakening and empowerment,” Biar said in statement on his Facebook page on Sunday.
Biar said the opening of multi-billion-dollar project shows determination of people of Ethiopia that what they have put in their minds can’t be thwarted by adverse forces.
“Funded entirely by Ethiopian and their compatriots in the Diaspora, it shows determination of people to achieve what they have put their minds can’t be thwarted by adverse forces, however strong those forces are,” Biar said.
The dam has been at center of regional dispute ever since work first began in 2021.
Ethiopia’s downstream neighbors of Egypt and Sudan view the dam as a threat because of their dependence on Nile waters while Addis Ababa deems it essential for its electrification and development.
The processing of filling the GERD’s vast reservoir began in 2020, with Ethiopian announcing in July of that year it had hit its target of 4.9 billion cubic meters.
The reservoir’s total capacity is 74 billion cubic meters and the target for 2021 was to add 13.5 billion.
More than 60 percent of Ethiopian population does not have access to electricity. The GERD project is seen as one that will address the problem.
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