To African commentators in recent decades, massive investments in mega-energy and irrigation projects were emblematic of the African economic emergence, and Ethiopia at that time vaunted itself as one of the fastest-growing economies in the region. This represents a new challenge to the basins current hydro-political regime and status quo, as it may drive Sudans interest in renegotiating its current quota(Link et al., 2012;Whittington et al., 2014). The IPoE report recommended two studies to assess the environmental and socio-economic impacts of GERD and was interpreted by both the Egyptian and the Ethiopian government as a vindication of their respective positions. These hydraulic mega-projects underscore the ambitious local and regional political aims of the Ethiopian ruling elites. The researchers looked at the dynamic interactions between the Nile's hydrology and infrastructure and Egypt's economy. Alaa al-Zawahiri, a member of the Egyptian National Panel of Experts studying the effects of the Renaissance Dam, believes as much. Article 7 provides that watercourse states must take all appropriate measures to prevent significant harm to other watercourse States and that, where harm does occur, there shall be consultations to discuss the question of compensation. Finally, Article 8 requires that watercourse states cooperate on the basis of sovereign equality, territorial integrity, mutual benefit and good faith.. The 10-year filling time of GERD will likely contribute to fastened salinisation in Egypt. In an effort to forestall potential water conflicts such as the one brewing around the Dam, an increasing number of bilateral and multilateral water agreements have been concluded in recent decades. It can help the riparian states outline principles, rights, and obligations for cooperative management of the resources of the Nile. Afraid that a drought might appear during the filling period, Egypt wants the filling to take place over a much longer period. Still, if the exception was somehow activated, it would mean that Egypt remains entitled to 66% of the Nile River waters and that this figure should be used as the baseline for any future negotiations. Sudans agricultural and hydropower interests align with those of Ethiopia while it has a strong interest in not alienating its 'big brother' and northern neighbour, Egypt, with whom it shares a long and partly contested border (Whittington et al., 2014). The instrument was a success in terms of cooling tensions between the states which seemed increasingly likely to come to blows. The Danger of Multi-Party Democracy and Free Elections in Plural Societies Recognizing the Muslim Brotherhood as a Legitimate Player in Egyptian Politics was a Big Mistake Ethiopian Partnering with ASKY to Establish West African Cargo Hub Ethiopia and China's ZTE singed $800 million mobile deal H and M to build factories in Ethiopia Indeed, the ICJ confirmed in Gabikovo-Nagymaros Project that all riparian states have a basic right to an equitable and reasonable sharing of the resources of the watercourse. Moreover, these principles were pulled through into the DoP agreed by both Egypt and Ethiopia. The dam will flood 1,680 square kilometers of forest in northwest Ethiopia (an area about four times the size of Cairo), displace approximately 20,000 people in Ethiopia, and create a reservoir that will hold around 70 billion cubic . This dam, set to be the largest in Africa in terms of power capacity, continues to cause disagreement between Ethiopia, Sudan and Egypt on filling and operation strategies. This was an attempt at a wholesale replacement for the Nile Waters Treaties. Downstream countries Egypt and Sudan have expressed concerns over the impacts of the dam on their water supply. According to this narrative, the Blue Nile, or Abay in Amharic, is a purely Ethiopian river. Since plans for Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) were first announced in 2011, Cairo has viewed the project as a serious threat to the country's water supply. The Blue Nile is Ethiopias largest river, with high potential for hydropower and irrigation. Ethiopia also seems to have the political upper hand given that the Dam is effectively a fait accompli and given that Egypts erstwhile downstream ally, Sudan, switched sides in the dispute leaving the Egyptians diplomatically isolated. The crucial leverage regarding Egypts water security lies with the Blue Nile countries Ethiopia and Sudan, as the Blue Nile is the main contributor to the Nile Rivers flow downstream. Egypt, fearing major disruptions to its access to the Niles waters, originally intended to prevent even the start of the GERDs construction. "Today as you see behind me . Hence, it seems that such an argument would receive a warm welcome from the current bench were the matter ever to be adjudicated there. The New Arab (2020a). Ethiopian opinion is divided over the need for such huge investments in hydroelectric energy when the national network is still very underdeveloped and unable to cope. Ethiopia and Sudan are currently developing and implementing water infrastructure developments unilaterally - as Egypt has done in the past and continues to do. Maguid, M.A. A political requirement will be to agree on rules for filling the GERD reservoir and on operating rules for the GERD, especially during periods of drought. EDUARDO SOTERAS/AFP via Getty Images. Practically from the outset, the World Bank and international donors withdrew funding due to a lack of transparency, driven home when it was learned that the construction had begun without a permit from the Environmental Protection Agency in Ethiopia. The International Court of Justice (ICJ) takes an expansionist view towards decolonisation as seen in the Chagos Islands Advisory Opinion, in which it allowed the decolonisation agenda to trump the UKs lack of consent to any contentious proceedings. These conflicts could take the form of international armed conflicts (between states), non-international armed conflicts between a group and a state, or conflicts between non-state groups. casting the DoP as a treaty) has the potential to abrogate the Nile Waters Treaties that Egypt holds so dear. The Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) is a critical project that intends to provide hydroelectricity to support the livelihoods of millions of people in the region. General view of the talks on Hidase Dam, built on the Blue Nile River in Ethiopia, between Sudan and Egypt in Khartoum, Sudan on October 04, 2019. For more on the background and history of these important relationships, see my book with former AGI Director Mwangi S. Kimenyi, Governing the Nile River Basin: The Search for a New Legal Regime., not be filled without a legally binding agreement, when the flow of Nile water to the dam falls below 35-40 b.c.m. Since then, there has been a constant stream of complaints regarding the social and environmental impacts on downriver areas, including large displacements of local populations. At 6,000 MW, the dam will be the largest hydroelectric power plant in Africa when completed at 2017(IPoE, 2013). Many historical grievances and distrust remain on the Ethiopian side regarding Egypt (Gebreluel, 2014), with some Ethiopian journalists assessing the 'Declaration of Principles' as being more in favour of Egypt than Ethiopia (Zegabi East Africa News, 2015). DISADVANTAGES OF ASWAN DAM the agriculture output of Egypt. (2014). Cairo . Given agricultures importance to pro-poor economic growth, Egypt, which has significant experience and expertise in irrigation agriculture, can share some of that expertise with other countries in exchange for increased trade with them. The former was initially funded by the World Bank and the European Investment Bank, but these later withdrew for legal and other reasons. This has now changed due to political consolidation over the past two decades and the advent of alternative sources of external finance (to the traditional multilateral development banks), not least from China (Gebreluel, 2014;IDS, 2013). The announcement on Friday comes a day after Ethiopia said it had launched power production from the second turbine at the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD). Link, P.M. et al. If it is allowed to reach dangerous levels, water scarcity has the potential to trigger conflicts. India dispatch: Supreme Court limits DNA paternity testing in divorce proceedings, prioritizing childrens privacy rights, US dispatch: Texas case could limit access to abortion medication, Copyright infringement made federal crime. Furthermore, resolving conflicts involving the Nile River is most likely to be more successful through improvements in relations between the riparians and not through external intervention. After all, the VCLT allows states to withdraw from or terminate a treaty owing to a fundamental change of circumstances which has occurred and which was not foreseen by the parties (Article 62(1)). Egypt has also escalated its call to the international community to get involved. Ethiopia, Egypt, Sudan reach 'major common understanding' on dam. The Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam will have negative impacts not only on Egypt but also on poor communities in Ethiopia as well as on its Nile Basin neighbours. Recently, the tensions among Egypt, Sudan, and Ethiopia over the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) on the Blue Nile have escalated, particularly after Ethiopia announced that it had started filling the GERDs reservoir, an action contrary to Egypts mandate that the dam not be filled without a legally binding agreement over the equitable allocation of the Niles waters. This article considers water security in the context of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (the Dam). Negotiations resumed three weeks after Al-Sisi took office in June 2014, and an agreement was made to resume negotiations - an achievementhailed by both Egypt and Ethiopia as a new chapter in relations between Egypt and Ethiopia based on openness and mutual understanding and cooperation (Omar, 2014). In fact, about 85 % of the overall Nile flow originates on Ethiopian territory (Swain, 2011). This crisis has raised great concerns among large sectors of the Egyptian society, especially in light of recalling such statements as "water war," "water militarization," "military management of the GERD crisis," "water terrorism," and "Ethiopian hydro-hegemony over the Nile Basin" [ 1, 2 ]. Across Ethiopia, poor farmers and rich business executives alike . In the end, all 11 riparian states must understand that the way forward calls for the establishment of a meaningful resource-sharing agreement, one that sees and recognizes the Nile River as a regional watercourse. Political instability in Egypt played an important role as the announcement of the project coincided with the resignation of President Mubarak during the Arab Spring. Feb 11th 2021 DAMS HAVE several uses. - Ethiopia's massive. It simultaneously expects that this role will change Ethiopias international status from a country perceived as poor and dependent on foreign aid to a regional power able to provide vital resources to its surrounding region. A general view of the Blue Nile river as it passes through the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), near Guba in Ethiopia, on December 26, 2019. It imports about half its food products and recycles about 25 bcm of water annually. As they consider this controversial issue, all 11 riparian countries should seek to improve relations among themselves beyond their relationship with the Nile, especially in mutually beneficial areas such as trade; educational and cultural exchanges; the management of natural resources, including water; dealing with threats to peace and security, including the suppression and prevention of terrorism and extremism; and confronting major challenges to economic growth and poverty alleviation, such as climate change, widespread illiteracy, and poor infrastructure. Another impressive snippet of information is that the Government of Ethiopia is financing the entire project, along with loans mainly from China. Such an understanding and appreciation of Egypts water vulnerability would help the riparians develop a water management protocol that can significantly enhance equitable and reasonable use while minimizing significant harm to downstream riparians. The failure of the latest talks over the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) has intensified tensions between Ethiopia and downstream states Egypt and Sudan. Mainly, for the downstream countries, the. However, by far the largest of these projects is the GERD, which was announced in 2010 and work on which was launched in 2011 by means of a nationwide fundraiser in which Ethiopian civil servants were reportedly obliged to volunteer a months salary to invest in GERD bonds. Such a meaningful resource-sharing agreement should not only resolve the conflict over water-use rights among the riparian states, but it should help define concepts such as equitable and reasonable use and significant harm, which have been used by the downstream states in their criticisms of the GERD. It seeks to build an infrastructure for regional water hegemony, positioning it, at the very least, in such a way that it can exchange water for oil. Sudan and Egypt, which rely most heavily on the . Both citizens and governments should be made part of the solution to the water-related conflicts that now threaten peace and security in the Nile Basin. Both Egypt and Ethiopia could make arguments in support of their positions. It provides clear benefits to all three riparian, such as flood control, reduced flood damages and sediment control. The drying up of this in Central Asia has been called the worlds worst environmental catastrophe. Could the Nile dispute be an opportunity to boost freshwater technology? Given the importance of water to Ethiopian agriculture, it resulted in the tragic irony that, as Thurow put it, the land than feeds the Nile is unable to feed itself. The status quo started to change when Ethiopia began construction of the Dam, just east of its border with Sudan, in 2011. It is perhaps the most glaring demonstration of environmental or climate injustice that the youngest continent (60 percent of the population is below the age of twenty-five) is also the one that has historically least contributed to the industrial emissions of greenhouse gases yet is likely the one that will be hardest affected by meteorological Egypt, which lies 1,600 miles downstream of the Dam, believes its operation will reduce the amount of fresh water available to it from the Nile. As stipulated by an Agreement of 1959 (see:Nile Main Conflict), Egypt and Sudan presented for several decades a common position vis--vis other riparians regarding the utilisation and management of Nile waters. Over the years, Egypt has used its extensive diplomatic connections and the colonial-era 1929 and 1959 agreements to successfully prevent the construction of any major infrastructure projects on the tributaries of the Nile. First woman appointed to the Canada Supreme Court. Ethiopia, however, prefers to have the flexibility to make decisions on how to deal with droughts. Another argument Egypt might adduce concerns the DoP. The toll on the local communities affected by the dams has been enormous. Crucially, however, despite being signed by Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan, the legal status of the DoP was left (deliberately) vague. On March 4, 1834, the town of York in the British colony of Canada was incorporated as the City of Toronto. The three countries have agreed that when the flow of Nile water to the dam falls below 35-40 b.c.m. On March 4, 1909, the Copyright Act of 1909 became law, making infringement of a copyright a federal crime for the first time. Given these considerations, it seems that Ethiopia has all but won the dispute. The $4 billion hydroelectric dam . Similarly, both the final agreement between the riparian states for the allocation of the water and resources of the Nile should include a dispute resolution mechanism. Terms in this set (10) how long and high is the dam? In the modern era, the US used water to blackmail Egypt. The 6,000-megawatt Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, shown here in May 2016, is scheduled to begin producing electricity in 2017. In 1964, the US Land Reclamation Bureau conducted a study for the Ethiopian government, identifying 33 hydraulic projects in the Blue Nile Basin. GIGA Focus No. (2017). when did construction of the dam begin? However, another trend stresses the need to approach the question from a broader and more holistic perspective. The Dam is being built by Ethiopia on the Nile River and is fiercely opposed by Egypt. When it is completed, with its concrete volume of 10.2 million m3, GERD will feature the largest dam in Africa. The current global energy crisis may help in this regard in the sense that Egyptians may find the allure of discounted hydroelectric energy stronger than ever before. On Foes and Flows: Vulnerabilities, Adaptive Capacities and Transboundary Relations in the Nile River Basin in Times of Climate Change. However, the DoP lacks these key traits, and these omissions suggest that it may simply be a non-binding declaration designed to ease political tensions and to illuminate a way forward. grand ethiopian renaissance dam. Cameroon's Choupo-Moting scores winner as Bayern reclaim Bundesliga top.. English Premier League results & fixtures (26th matchday), Germany Bundesliga results & fixtures (23rd matchday), Israeli delegation expelled from the African Union summit. Concern has focused in particular on Lake Turkana, which derives 90 per cent of its water from the Omo River on which the Gilgel Gibe III Dam was built. An unsubscribe function is also at the bottom of every newsletter. An Ethiopian national flag is seen at the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam in Guba, Ethiopia, on February 19, 2022. In March 2015, a 'Declaration of Principles' was signed by the leaders of Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia, setting the foundations for an initial cooperation. 2011. how much does the reservoir contain? Ethiopian general threatens military force to defend Nile dam as negotiations with Egypt falter. The Political Deadlock on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam. The GERD has the potential to act both as driver for conflict, but also for cooperation. L'Europe en Formation, 365(3), 99-138. Faced with the anachronistic Nile Waters Treaties on the one hand and the absence of a suitable replacement on the other, discussions about the Dam have fallen into something of a stalemate. There has long been a conflict over water rights among the riparian countries of the Eastern Nile Basin (Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia). Such a mitigation program can make it much easier for Egyptian and Sudanese authorities to cooperate with Ethiopia and the other riparians in creating and adopting an agreement for management of the Nile. 67K views 6 months ago ETIOPIA The Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, on the Blue Nile, is located around 14 km upstream of the Ethiopian-Sudan Border, at around 700 km from the Capital. As a hydroelectric project, the dam is expected to generate 6,000 megawatts of electricity. Second, as also noted above, the Dam is to be used for electricity generation, not irrigation. It signifies that Egypts de facto veto power on major upstream dams has been broken, and it clearly demonstrates the political will of Ethiopia to develop its water infrastructure even in the absence of a comprehensive basin agreement. Although Egypt has persistently argued that the 1959 agreement between Egypt and Sudan is the legal framework for the allocation of the waters of the Nile, Ethiopia and other upstream riparian states reject that argument. The Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) and hydroelectric project is located 700 km northeast of the capital city Addis Abeba, in the Benishangul--Gumaz region of Ethiopia, along the Blue Nile River. Also, the Sudanese Foreign Ministry later held the Egyptian side accountable for failure of these negotiations. Before discussing the benefits, the article will brief the general technical overview of the GERDP. l It is in the Benishangul-Gumuz Region of Ethiopia, about 15 km east of the border with Sudan. Churning waters: Strategic shifts in the Nile basin. It concludes that Ethiopias legal position is far stronger and that a negotiated agreement in its favour is the most likely outcome of the dispute.  According to some estimates, the Ethiopian government had to arrange for the resettlement of 1.5 million people in the four regions of Gambela, Somali, Afar, and Benishangul-Gumuz. The filling regime and operational methods of GERD will affect Egypt, in particular through its impact on the operation of its Aswan High Dam (AHD) which aims at mitigating the high variability of the Nile River flow. These countries should return to the NBIs Cooperative Framework Agreement (CFA), which was concluded in 2010, try to resolve the disagreements that caused Egypt and Sudan to decline to sign the CFA, and use it as a model for a future binding legal regime. The Eastern Nile Basin comprises Egypt, Sudan, and Ethiopia. The so-called Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (Gerd) is Africa's biggest hydroelectric project to date. However, it also entails potential negative effects on Egypt, if not carefully managed (see alsoSecurity implications of growing water scarcity in Egypt). On the surface, the 558 ft tall dam Africa's biggest hydropower project belies Ethiopia's financial muscle. Consequently, under the principle of pacta tertiis nec nocent nec prosunt, it could demonstrate that those treaties cannot bind it as it was a third party and did not give its consent. The dispute over the GERD is part of a long-standing feud between Egypt and Sudanthe downstream stateson the one hand, and Ethiopia and the upstream riparians on the other over access to the Niles waters, which are considered a lifeline for millions of people living in Egypt and Sudan. The Tripartite National Council (TNC) was then established, consisting of members from each of the three countries with the aim of carrying through the IPoE's recommendations (Attia & Saleh, 2021). These parallel developments appear to be elements of a bigger hydro-political strategy wherein the riparian countries aim to increase their water utilisation to put facts on the ground (and underpin legal claims based on those uses) and increase their bargaining position for renegotiations of volumetric water allocations.
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