Thursday, 28 April 2011

Egypt delegation to visit Ethiopia over Renaissance Dam

Apr 27th, 2011 | By Davide Morandini | Category: Africa, Egypt, Environment, Environment Featured, Going Green, Going Green News CAIRO: The “Egyptian People’s Diplomatic Delegation” will visit Ethiopia on Friday to discuss the construction of the so-called Renaissance Dam on the river Nile. Several Egyptian politicians and activists will meet with Ethiopian officials and political representatives including Prime Minister Melas Zenawi. The aim of the visit is to deliver a relaxing message regarding a recently heated dispute on Nile water shares.
The visit comes after Ethiopian Minister for Water Resources recently ruled out permission to Egypt to visit the site of the Dam.
Ethiopia blames Egyptian authorities for not signing the Entebbe Agreement, adding that Egyptian Authorities would be allowed to visit the Dam, were they to agree to the charter.
The Entebbe Agreement was undersigned by the majority of upstream countries, including Tanzania, Ethiopia, Uganda, Burundi and Kenya. The charter sanctioned the beginning of a new regional cooperation based on the re-negotiation of Nile water shares.
Following the undersigning of the Agreement, Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi inaugurated the construction of the so-called Renaissance Dam on 2 April, saying that it will greatly contribute to the Development of Ethiopia as a nation.
The projects was contracted by Italian company Salini Costruttori for €3,350bln ($4,916bln). The Dam will be the biggest Hydroelectric plants ever built in Africa, producing 5250 MW. The plants will begin regular activity starting from 2014, and its hydroelectric potential will be expanded to 10,000 MW before 2017.
In related news, the Amibara Agricultural Development Plc pledged 1.2 million birr ($71,540) in investment through the purchase of bonds to support the Great Ethiopian Renaissance Dam. Reportedly, employees agreed upon spending a month’s salary to buy bonds from the Ethiopian central bank.
Apart from spontaneous contributions by Ethiopian institutions and citizens, there are serious suspicions that the Ethiopian Government will not be able to fund the work.
“The provenience of most funding for this and other Ethiopian Dams is utterly unclear,” declared an ex-officer of the Italian Cooperation in Ethiopia who refused to be credited.
Ethiopian opposition Party Medrek recently question the government around the feasibility of the project.
This is due to the lack of transparency in the administration, of preliminary studies on the sustainability of the project and of the possibility that future geopolitical issues may arise following the Dam’s construction.

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