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Preliminary agreement reached on Ethiopia’s Renaissance dam

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March 6, 2015 (KHARTOUM) – Foreign affairs and water resources ministers of Sudan, Egypt and Ethiopia have reached on Friday a preliminary draft agreement on a mechanism for operating the Ethiopian Renaissance Dam following three-day meetings in Khartoum.

The planned Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam project (AP)

Egypt fears that the construction of the 4.3 billion dollar dam project will diminish its water share which is a source of water to millions people of the desert nation.

Up on completion by 2017, the Grand Ethiopian renaissance dam will have electricity generating capacity of 6,000 megawatt.

Currently the power plant project which will be Africa’s largest is 36% completed and will take the east African nation up to six years to fill the dam’s 74 billion cubic-meter reservoir.

Sudan’s foreign minister, Ali Ahmed Karti, said the three countries reached agreement on principles “ that govern us on how to benefit from the Eastern Nile Basin and the Renaissance Dam”, stressing the document represents the beginning of a new page in relations between the three countries.

“The deal will now be sent to the leaders of the three countries for final approval,” he said.

Egypt’s Water and Irrigation Minister Hossam Moghazi said the principles that were agreed to “pertain to the systems and mechanism for operating the Renaissance Dam and the mechanism for cooperation on this dam.”

Ethiopian foreign minister, Tadros Adhanom, for his part, said the principles represented a “new chapter” in relations between the three countries.

The ministers did not elaborate on specific points of the deal.

During the past two years and since the construction of the dam that kicked off in 2013, the three countries have held several tripartite meetings to discuss the ways to maximise the benefits of the dam, minimize its side effects and reduce the potential risk on the three countries.

(ST)

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