Published on 05 October 2015

GERD: no end to discord over dam

Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam

Ethiopia has learned the the hard way that it cannot do as it pleases where its neighbours are concerned in the same way it does at home. It learned this lesson via its colossal national prestige project for a dam on the Blue Nile, the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD).

Addis Ababa shunned the meeting of the Tripartite National Committee (TNC) - consisting of Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan - which was to be held in Egypt on 4 October.

Not only has the 6,000 MW GERD costing $4.7 billion, always been strongly contested by Egypt, it has also brought financial problems, as repaying the loans exacerbates the country's lack of foreign currency and disgruntles importers. Here is a roundup of the difficulties this gigantic project encountered since construction began in mid-2013.

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The Renaissance Dam – a national symbol but a regional quandary 

Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam construction.
Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam construction. ©Gioia Forster/dpa/picture-alliance/Newscom/MaxPPP

Although the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) is due to come into service in 2021, no agreement has yet been found by Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan regarding their respective rights to the waters of the River Nile. [...]


An isolated Sisi torn between arbitration and force 

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Cairo orchestrates Juba’s defiance of Addis 

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Agreement on mega dam foundering in the nile waters 

Tension between Cairo and Addis Ababa over water access quotas are whittling down the prospect that an agreement on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam could be signed on 28 December. [...]

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Arkebe Oqubay wants to industrialise by force 

Alongside the Ethiopian Summit organised by The Economist Group in Addis Ababa on 28 and 29 October, Arkebe Oqubay, special [...]

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Sislay Ayalew wants shorter mining licenses 

To spur new operations in the sector, Sisay Ayalew Amera, head of Ethiopia’s mineral licensing & administration directorate that delivers [...]

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Sanctions against CBO are a warning for all the private banks 

The management of Cooperative Bank of Oromia has been sanctioned for breaching legislation on foreign currency reserves. This operation will exacerbate entrepreneurs' access to foreign currency. [...]

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BRL Ingenierie’s study on the GERD starting to leak water 

According to our sources, following the withdrawal of the Dutch consulting firm Deltares from the study on the impact of [...]

ETHIOPIA 12/06/2015

Two more dam megaprojects on the Nile in 2016 

While Egypt is still contesting the construction of GERD, Ethiopia is preparing two additional hydroelectric projects on the Nile. [...]

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Debebe hopes to export electricity to Saudi Arabia 

The former CEO of Ethiopian Electric Power Corp (EEPC) and current advisor to the Prime Minister’s office, Mihret Debebe, has [...]

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Entrepreneurs want access to leasing 

Manufacturing production is hampered by the shortage of foreign exchange; Europe and the IFC are demanding reforms. [...]

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Egypt wants guarantees on access to Nile waters 

The Egyptian authorities went on the attack again over the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) at a stormy closed meeting [...]


Dam still causing diplomatic problems 

Despite a series of negotiations by diplomats from both countries, Ethiopia and Egypt still disagree about the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD). [...]

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The highly controversial chairman of the Ethiopian opposition group Ginbot [...]

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The Grand Renaissance Dam makes waves 

The start of work to divert the water from the Blue Nile at the end of May, to prepare for the construction of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam was seen as a declaration of war by Egypt, which takes almost [. [...]

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