Mon. May 20th, 2024

An initiative to resolve the dispute on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) project.

*Clarifications: –

1- There are historical, cultural, legal, technical, political, and economic backgrounds related to the GERD project and the negotiating dispute over it since August 2019.

2- These differences, of course, are not known to all, due to the diversity of their fields, and because it is not easy to understand the subject from all these fields.

3- The owner of the initiative made a great effort to collect these backgrounds for many months, and through them and through the current technical and negotiating position, he sought to bring out this initiative as an immediate solution that satisfies all parties through a win/win solution, away from any nationalism or fanaticism.

  • The assumptions are:-

1-There is no current legal agreement between Egypt and Ethiopia on the water share.

2- The Cooperative Framework Agreement (CFA) /”Entebbe draft agreement”, which was reached in May 2010, did not consider the Egyptian water security and the current utilization of water in Egypt, and neglected the key to Egypt’s water security, which is the water reserve in Aswan High Dam (HAD).

3- Ethiopia undoubtedly has the right to use the waters of the Blue Nile as a source, and Egypt recognized that in the fourth clause of the 1993 agreement.

4- Today, Egypt has a large surplus in the production of electric power, exceeding 26,000 megawatts.

5- The main objective of the GERD project is to produce 4500 megawatts in the best operating conditions through 12 turbines.

6- The historical ties between Egypt and Abyssinia and the civilizations established on the land of Egypt and the land of Abyssinia oblige the two peoples to cooperate under the shadows of those ties and in a way that befits those civilizations.

7- The ordinary public is unfortunately saturated with myths about the GERD project that are broadcast all the time in the media.

The initiative – “River of Civilizations Initiative”:-

The Parties addressed by the initiative: – The governments in Egypt, Ethiopia, and Sudan, the World Bank, the African Development Bank (AfDB), and the French Development Agency.

The initiative consists of the following points:-

  1. The initiative calls on the World Bank, the African Development Bank (AfDB), the French Development Agency, and all Parties who participated in funding the 2,000-megawatt electrical transmission line between Ethiopia and Kenya, which was completed in November 2021, to complete their support and funding for the electric interconnection grid in East Africa. This will be through financing the electrical transmission line from the source of electricity in Egypt, through Sudan to Ethiopia, with a capacity of 5,000 megawatts, The initiative calls on them also to finance and subsidize a percentage of the cost of fuel needed to operate Egyptian power plants, which will be the source of the transmitted power to Sudan and Ethiopia.
  2. The Egyptian government, which is able to generate electrical power with about 26,000 MW more than the maximum recorded electrical load in Egypt, will provide Ethiopia with 4,000 megawatts of electricity free of charge, in a manner that will be determined by Point No. 4 of this initiative.
  3. Through the electrical interconnection transmission line mentioned in point No. 1 Egypt shall provide Sudan with 2,000 MW free of charge, in a manner that will be determined according to point No. 4 of the initiative.
  4. The Ethiopian government will extend the duration of the first filling of the GERD project, starting from the summer of 2023, so that the water it reserved in the GERD lake does not affect the historical average of the level of the HAD lake. Ethiopian will be compensated against extending the first filling duration by receiving electricity from Egypt, as mentioned in point 2 of the initiative, until the completion of the first filling of the GERD with a volume of 74 billion cubic meters. Sudan also will receive from Egypt the electricity mentioned under point No. 3 of the initiative, free of charge until the completion of the first filling of the GERD.
  5. Egypt, Ethiopia, and Sudan shall agree on a reasonable Time Schedule for the Construction of future dam projects on the Blue Nile, so that the three countries take part in their effective design, funding, construction, operation, and management, in a way that always preserves the historical average of the level of the reserved water in HAD lake.
  6. For the Drought case and the Prolongated Drought case, Egypt will re-provide electricity with a capacity of 4,000 megawatts to Ethiopia and 1,000 megawatts to Sudan for free during the periods of refilling the GERD lake and the HAD lake after the prolonged drought. After the prolonged drought, the priority will be given to filling the HAD lake first before the filling of GERD lake or any other upcoming Dams on the Blue Nile.
  7. The Ethiopian government will provide all operating data of the GERD to Egypt and Sudan on a permanent basis.
  8. Egypt and Sudan will provide all operating data for the HAD, Merowe Dam, and Roseires reservoir to Ethiopia on a permanent basis.
  9. The three countries will work together to amend the Cooperative Framework Agreement (CFA) /”Entebbe draft agreement” together with the Nile Basin countries in order to preserve Egyptian water security as one of the driest countries in the world, by preserving the historical average level of the HAD lake.

***The desired results of the initiative:

1- Egypt will avoid the existential risk resulting from the drying up of the HAD Lake, for a small amount of monetary value.

2- Ethiopia will get electricity immediately, complete the GERD, and obtain guarantees to finance and support its future projects on the Blue Nile.

3- Sudan will also get the electricity it had hoped for from the GERD and its operation data.

4- All this will happen without entering into debates on the historical rights, water shares, and interpretations of the Declarations of Principles.

By Chala Dandessa

I am Lecturer, Researcher and Freelancer. I am the founder and Editor at ETHIOPIANS TODAY website. If you have any comment use caalaadd2@gmail.com as email contact. Additionally you can contact us through the contact page of www.ethiopianstoday.com.

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