Ethiopia on Nile dam.

Ethiopia. Egypt and Sudan resumed discussion on the Nile Dam. Image by

Concerned representatives resume negotiations regarding Nile dam

Ethiopia has started a second round of talks with Egypt and Sudan regarding a controversial dam built by Addis Ababa on the Nile.

Ethiopia on Nile dam.

Ethiopia. Egypt and Sudan resumed discussion on the Nile Dam. Image by

Ethiopia said Saturday 23 September 2023 it had begun a second round of talks with Egypt and Sudan over a controversial mega-dam built by Addis Ababa on the Nile, long a source of tensions among the three nations.

Ethiopia this month announced the completion of the fourth and final filling of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, prompting immediate condemnation from Cairo, which denounced the move as illegal.

ALSO READ: Africa Fact of the Day: The Nile River – 16 August 2023

What is the Egypt and Sudan fear?

Egypt and Sudan fear the massive $4.2-billion dam will severely reduce the share of Nile water they receive and have repeatedly asked Addis Ababa to stop filling it until an agreement is reached.

For years at loggerheads over the issue, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed agreed in July to finalise a deal within four months, resuming talks in August.

ALSO READ: What is the longest river in the world: Nile or Amazon? Expedition to settle debate

Ethiopia’s foreign ministry wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter that the three countries had opened a second round of negotiations in Addis Ababa. “Ethiopia is committed to reaching a negotiated and amicable solution through the ongoing trilateral process,” it said.

Protracted negotiations over the dam since 2011 have thus far failed to bring about an agreement between Ethiopia and its downstream neighbours. Egypt has long viewed the dam as an existential threat, as it relies on the Nile for 97 per cent of its water needs.

ALSO READ: Unbelievable! Three arrested with a stolen Nile CROCODILE

What did Cairo demand over Nile?

Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry, in an address to the UN General Assembly, said that Cairo wanted a “binding agreement” on the filling and operation of the dam.

“We remain in anticipation of our goodwill being reciprocated with a commitment from Ethiopia to arrive at an agreement that will safeguard the interests of Egypt, Sudan, and Ethiopia,” Shoukry said.

ALSO READ: Ethiopia launches fourth filling of a disputed dam

“It would be a mistake to assume we can accept a fait accompli when it comes to the very lives of more than 100 million Egyptian citizens.”

Did Ethiopia generate electricity?

The dam is central to Ethiopia’s development plans, and in February 2022, Addis Ababa announced that it had begun generating electricity for the first time. At full capacity, the huge hydroelectric dam — 1.8 kilometres long and 145 metres high — could generate more than 5,000 megawatts.

ALSO READ: New dams in Africa could add risk to power supplies down the line

That would double Ethiopia’s production of electricity, to which only half the country’s population of 120 million currently has access. The position of Sudan, which is currently mired in a civil war, has fluctuated in recent years.

The United Nations says Egypt could “run out of water by 2025”, and parts of Sudan, where the Darfur conflict was essentially a war over access to water, are increasingly vulnerable to drought as a result of climate change.


© Agence France-Presse