Ethiopia rejects Egypt’s “colonial-era” approach to the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam
Sawako Utsumi and Lee Jay Walker
Modern Tokyo Times
Ethiopia is adamant that the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam will address many past wrongs that hindered this nation from utilizing its own water resources. In other words, the “colonial era” approach of dictating to Ethiopia isn’t viable in the modern era, not that it should have been viable in the first place. Of course, Ethiopia fully understands the importance of water to Egypt and the surrounding region. However, why should an upstream nation solely cater to the demands of other nations?
Unlike many other nations in Africa, Ethiopia is fully focused on meeting the challenges of population growth based on modernization. Hence, the political leaders of Ethiopia are tackling agricultural innovations, industrial parks, and other important areas. Therefore, the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam is an instrumental part of the modernization jigsaw that Ethiopia is intent on fulfilling.
Reuters reports, “Ethiopia has accused Egypt of trying to maintain its grip over the waters of the Nile with a proposal it says would imperil a giant hydropower dam under construction on Ethiopia’s Blue Nile, in a growing diplomatic spat.”
Last year, the BBC reported, “For thousands of years, and more recently buoyed by British colonialism, Egypt has wielded political influence over the Nile. But the ambition of Ethiopia is changing all that.”
It is reported that once the dam switches on its 16 turbines, up to 150% increase in the supply of electricity will emerge in Ethiopia. Hence, the 6,000-megawatt facility is badly needed in a country that is blighted by poverty, despite recent impressive economic growth rates. Thus, the magnitude and importance of this dam to Ethiopia are clear. Also, given the fact that this nation is an upstream nation, then clearly this must be fully understood by Egypt and other regional nations.
Ethiopia is open to genuine talks with Egypt but based on the new reality that is on the ground – and not the historical and colonial legacy. Equally, it is essential for Egypt, Ethiopia, and Sudan to solve the problems internally and not for outside meddling that is being touted by Egypt.
Hence, with Ethiopia having no ill intentions towards any regional nation and understanding the fears of Egypt, it is important for negotiations to continue in the knowledge that the dam will boost the entire region.
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