East Africa: Joint Statement of Egypt, Ethiopia, Sudan, the United States And the World Bank

A map showing the location of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam.

Washington, DC — The Ministers of Foreign Affairs and Water Resources of Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan and their delegations met with the Secretary of the Treasury and the President of the World Bank, participating as observers in negotiations on the filling and operation of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), in Washington, D.C. on January 28-31, 2020.  At the conclusion of the meetings, the Ministers reached an agreement on the following issues, subject to the final signing of the comprehensive agreement:

  1. a schedule for a stage based filling plan of the GERD; 
  2. a mitigation mechanism for the filling of the GERD during drought, prolonged drought, and prolonged periods of dry years; and
  3. a mitigation mechanism for the annual and long-term operation of the GERD in drought, prolonged drought, and prolonged periods of dry years.

They also discussed and agreed to finalize a mechanism for the annual and long-term operation of the GERD in normal hydrological conditions, a coordination mechanism, and provisions for the resolution of disputes and the sharing of information.  Moreover, they also agreed to address dam safety and pending studies on the environmental and social impacts of the GERD.

The Ministers have instructed their technical and legal teams to prepare the final agreement, which shall include the agreements reached above, for a signing of the three countries by the end of February, 2020.

The Ministers recognize the significant regional benefits that will result from this agreement and from the operation of the dam with respect to transboundary cooperation, regional development and economic integration.  The Ministers reaffirmed the importance of transboundary cooperation in the development of the Blue Nile to improve the lives of the people of Egypt, Ethiopia, and Sudan.

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