Ethiopia’s Renaissance Dam 32% Completed, Efforts ‘Intensifying’: Spokesman

Some 32 percent of construction of the Ethiopian Grand Renaissance Dam has been completed, with efforts intensifying to complete the rest, a spokesman of the government-owned Ethiopian Electric Power Corporation has said.

Spokesman Miskir Negash said construction of the dam has been ongoing “day and night,” adding that the dam has so far provided 7,000 employment opportunities, MENA reported.

The spokesman said Ethiopia is working on a number of projects, aside from the Renaissance Dam, to increase its national electricity capacity, including the Adama wind farm and the Gibe III hydroelectric dam.

Electricity from Gibe III first stage will be generated within this year, Negash added.

The Renaissance Dam project has been a source of concern for the Egyptian government since May last year, when images of the dam’s construction stirred public anxiety about its possible effects on Egypt’s share of Nile water.

Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan formed a tripartite technical committee to study the possible effects of the dam and try to generate consensus on the project. Ethiopia maintains that Egypt’s water share will not be negatively affected by the successful completion of the dam.

In recent meetings in Khartoum, the tripartite committee was scheduled to draft a document that entails “confidence building measures” between the countries, and also to form a special international conflict resolution committee.

However, the tripartite committee’s efforts were thwarted in December when Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir announced his support for the Renaissance Dam during a meeting with Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn.