FILE: Irrigation and Water Resources Minister Mohamed Abdel Aati
CAIRO –23 January 2018: Egypt still has high hopes to reach a consensual agreement with Ethiopia and Sudan regarding Ethiopia’s controversial Renaissance Dam, Mohamed Abdel Aaty, Minister of Water Resources and Irrigation stated on Tuesday.
In press remarks issued on the sidelines of the third International Conference on Water Resources in the Mediterranean Basin Countries, Abdel Aaty refused to comment on the Ethiopian side’s rejection of the Egyptian proposal to have the World Bank as neutral mediator in the tripartite negotiations,concerning the technical studies of the massive project.
On January 22, diplomatic sources told Egypt Today that Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn, during his visit to Cairo, suggested holding a tripartite summit with the leaders of Egypt and Sudan on the sidelines of the 30th African Union Summit by the end of this month.
Egypt has previously approved the report prepared by PRL Consulting on the guidelines that should be followed when conducting studies on the effects of the dam; however, Ethiopia and Sudan rejected the findings of the report, crippling the continuation of the studies necessary for the establishment of the dam.
Since May 2011, Cairo has voiced its concern over how the dam can adversely affect the country’s annual share of Nile water.
Egypt’s average water per-capita is expected to drop from 663 cubic meters per year to 582 cubic meters by 2025, according to the Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS). Addis Ababa, however, claimed that the dam is necessary for Ethiopia’s development and will not harm downstream countries
Additional reporting by Noha al-Tawil