On Nile river, Grand Renaissance Dam project divides African nations

On Nile river Grand Renaissance Dam project divides African nations

News: Ethiopia, Sudan and Egypt has agreed to resume negotiations to resolve their decade-long complex dispute over the Grand Renaissance Dam hydropower project in the Horn of Africa.

Facts:

The Nile river

Source: Indian Express 

  • Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam(GERD) which was formerly known as the Millennium Dam is located in Ethiopia, on the Blue Nile River about 40km east of Sudan.
  • The dam will be the largest hydroelectric power plant in Africa when completed as well as the seventh largest in the world.
  • What is the dispute?
      • The Nile river has been at the center of the dispute involving several countries that are dependent on the river’s waters. At the forefront of this dispute are Ethiopia, Egypt and Sudan.
      • The main waterways of the Nile run through Uganda, South Sudan, Sudan and Egypt and its drainage basin runs through several countries in East Africa including Ethiopia, the portion where this dam is being constructed.
      • Egypt has objected to the dam’s construction saying the dam’s location on the Blue Nile tributary would allow Ethiopia to gain control of the flow of the river’s waters and could result in lower water levels within its own borders.
      • Sudan too is concerned that if Ethiopia were to gain control over the river, it would affect the water levels Sudan receives.
  • What is happening now? The latest round of talks between Ethiopia, Sudan and Egypt occurred through video conference due to the Covid-19 pandemic with South Africa observing the proceedings in its role as the current head of the African Union’s rotating council in addition to other international observers.

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