Ethiopia, Sudan and Egypt have resumed talks to resolve the row over the Grand Renaissance Dam, on the Nile. The dam, when complete, will be Africa’s biggest hydroelectric power plant.
The construction of the dam had begun in 2011 on the Blue Nile tributary in Ethiopia, but the United States and the World Bank had stalled after the three countries could not agree on when the massive dam should be filled. According to the Egypt Independent, negotiations were suspended in February after Ethiopia refused to sign a draft agreement prepared by the US and the World Bank.
Ethiopia had recently announced its intention to start filling the dam’s reservoir in July. The BBC reports that, according to officials, the dam is currently under construction in western Ethiopia and is nearly 75% complete. Sudan, meanwhile, had on May 12 rejected Ethiopia’s proposal to sign a partial agreement to start filling the reservoir of the dam in July. Egypt has thus far remained adamant on following filling and operating rules for the dam, drafted by the US, as well as to the declaration of principles signed between the three countries in 2015. It has cited concerns about downstream countries water supply being impacted and has insisted throughout negotiations that measures be put in place to protect those during the filling process at the dam.
Umm Muhammed Umar