28 August 2014

Ethiopia: Tripartite Talks On GERD Successful - Ministry

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

The fourth Tripartite Ministerial Meeting of Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) held in Khartoum was successful, said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Ministry Spokesperson Ambassador Dina Mufti said Thursday in a press briefing that the countries have agreed on the implementation of the recommendations of the panel of experts about the GERD.

They also agreed to form a new committee with 12 members, four from each country, to conduct joint assessment about social and environmental impacts of the dam on downstream countries.

According to Dina, the establishment of the group and conducting joint assessment on the dam will be a good opportunity for Ethiopia to prove that the dam wouldn't pose any negative impact on the downstream countries.

The two-day meeting, from 25 to 26 August, was attended by the Water Ministers of the three countries.

The proposed Tripartite National Committee (TNC) will conduct the studies recommended by the Panel.

The studies will cover a Water Resources/Hydropower System Simulation Model and a Trans-boundary 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).

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.

Launched in April 2011, over 37 percent of the construction of the GERD has so far been finalized.

Generating over 6,000mw power, the dam will be the largest hydroelectric power plant in Africa, as well as the 8th largest in the world, when completed.

Ethiopia is building the dam using local resources.

The government has been mobilizing resources locally and abroad by selling bonds.

But now the government has introduced additional methods to raise funds for the dam, of which mobile SMS is one.

Source: ENA

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