2 Days after Al-Sisi’s Trip to Africa, Ethiopian Top Oficial: ‘Nothing Will Stop Renaissance Dam Construction’

Two days after al-Sisi ‘s latest trip to Africa in the light of the twenty-seventh ordinary session of the African summit in Kigali, the capital of Rwanda, Ethiopian top official stated  clearly that nothing will stop Ethiopia from its Grand Dam project.

Ethiopian Irrigation and Water Minister Motuma Mikasa has stated that neither tripartite talks on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam nor the outcome of impact studies will not stop the building of the dam.

Speaking to Al-Masry Al-Youm, Mikasa revealed plans to finish construction by 2017. He added that plans are afoot to build more dams on all rivers flowing down from the Ethiopian highlands.

In the same context, the Ethiopian Ambassador in Cairo Mahmoud Dreier has said explicitly–while Speaking on Egypt’s Al- Nahar TV channel-that Ethiopia will build another dam after the Grand Renaissance Dam is completed.

Dreier said that his country cooperates with any entity to achieve its goals, but not at the expense of any state, adding that the new generation in Egypt and Ethiopia should know that the Nile is not the monopoly of any state

Many  countries in the Nile basin have expressed support for the Ethiopian construction project,began in 2011, Egypt has expressed its opposition to the dam due to negative impact on downstream water flows that would probably affect its water security.

A tripartite committee from Ethiopia, Sudan and Egypt was formed to discuss objections to the dam’s construction, and it was agreed in 2014 that environmental impact studies would be conducted.

According to Sudan Tribune, the French firms BRL and Artelia were contracted to conduct hydraulic, economic and environmental studies on the dam, since when negotiations have been made over the contracts to be signed by the countries and the firms. Once signed, the firms will have the green light to carry out an 11-month program of studies, Mikasa said.

No date has yet been set for the signing, but according to Mikasa, the three countries have agreed that it will take place at the end of July in Khartoum.

Despite the Egyptian opposition  in the background of recent negotiations, Mikasa denied any current conflicts that call for mediation from Arab or foreign countries, and stressed Ethiopia’s right to continue construction of the dam. He expressed commitment to the principles signed on by Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn, Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and Omar al-Bashir of Sudan.

The minister also stated that no date has been allocated for the dam to begin its use, as this will depend on the project’s progress.