27 August 2014

Ethiopia: Ministers Agree to Set Up Tripartite National Committee

Photo: http://africanarguments.org
Artist's impression of the Renaissance Dam, under construction on the Blue Nile in Ethiopia.

The 4th Tripartite Ministerial Meeting of Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan on the GERD project took place on Monday and Tuesday in Khartoum, Sudan.

The meeting was attended by Prof. Dr. Hossam Eldin Mohamed Moghazy, Minister of Water Resources and Irrigation of Egypt; Alemayehu Tegenu, Minster of Water, Irrigation and Energy of Ethiopia; and Ambassador Mutaz Musa Abdalla Salim, Minister of Water Resources and Electricity of Sudan.

According to the joint statement read out by the Sudanese Minister Musa, the Ministers agreed to establish a committee to conduct the two additional studies recommended by the International Panel of Experts (IPoE).

A proposed Tripartite National Committee (TNC) comprising four experts from each country will conduct the studies recommended by the IPoE.

The studies will cover a Water Resources/Hydropower System Simulation Model and a Transboundary Environmental and Socio-Economic Impact Assessment.

The TNC will conclude its work within six months starting from the 1st of September and the studies will be implemented according to an agreed timetable by International Consultancy Firm(s) according to the "Draft Scope of Work" presented in the IPoE final report.

The Ministers also agreed on the nomination of International Experts who would be able to provide technical opinions in case there are disagreements among the Ministers over the outcome of the two studies.

During the meeting, technical teams from Egypt and Ethiopia also met and the Ethiopian team gave details of updates on the Dam design to satisfy downstream countries' concerns.

The technical teams agreed to continue consultations on relevant technical matters in the future.

Egypt's Dr. Moghazy said after the meeting that this was an agreement on the mechanism for implementing the recommendations of the IPoE which was important to Egypt.

Ethiopia's Minister Alemayehu Tegenu said the agreement enhanced confidence between the three countries but noted that there was no reason to stop the construction of the dam. He added "we understand the concerns of the Sudanese and Egyptians".

He extended an invitation to his counterparts in Egypt and Sudan to visit the site of the dam in the near future.

Source: Ministry of Foreign Affairs

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