By Ahmed Mansour
It’s always been said that “water is the new oil,” and no one believes this more than Ethiopia. In March, Ethiopia kickstarted its Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) project, locking horns with Egypt, which is worried it will reduce the amount of water reaching Egypt. Multiple meetings were held between Ethiopia, Egypt, Sudan and other Nile Basin countries to try and reach common ground on the construction, but they came to a dead end with Ethiopia adamant it has the right to its section of the river and that the colonial-era agreements no longer meet its needs.
Egypt’s Mansour government had proposed to take part in building the $4.2 billion GERD to guarantee that Egypt and Sudan’s share of the Nile water would not be affected, but Ethiopia responded, “[Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam] Desalegn adhered to the Entebbe Convention and rejected any Egyptian supervision or participation in the construction of the dam.”
Mohamed Abdel-Motleb, Egypt’s minister of irrigation and water resources, has since formed a committee of legal experts from Egypt and Sudan to find a solution in favor of downstream countries.
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