Egypt and Sudan to hold talks over contentious Renaissance Dam project

Egypt and Sudan to hold talks over contentious Renaissance Dam project
Egypt has said that it will hold talks with Ethiopia to iron out differences over a $4 billion hydroelectric dam project that Cairo says will restrict its water supplies.
2 min read
18 November, 2018
The $4bn Grand Renaissance Dam was due for completion by 2020 [Getty]

Egypt on Sunday said it will be holding talks with Ethiopia within the next fortnight to iron-out differences over an Ethiopian dam on the River Nile.

The dam has been a source of contention between Cairo and Addis Ababa, with the Egyptian government seeing the plan as a threat to water supplies. 

Egyptian Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly said he and his Ethiopian counterpart, Abiy Ahmed, agreed "to start bilateral discussions in the next two weeks to agree on the points that remain unagreed", the MENA state news agency reported. 

MENA cited the Ethiopian leader as saying that he would protect Egypt's rights to the Nile's vital water supplies.

Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia have held several meetings to discuss the $4 billion hydroelectric Grand Renaissance Dam, but they have yet to reach a deal over several key issues.

Among the issues at stake is the control of water flow through the proposed dam.

Cairo says that Egypt's fields and reservoirs will suffer due to the dam due to water flow coming from Ethiopia's highland's being restricted. Ethiopia has denied that the project will have this effect.

The $4-billion Grand Renaissance Dam is being built near Ethiopia's country's western border with Sudan, and will be Africa's largest when completed, producing 6,000 megawatts - roughly equivalent to six large nuclear reactors.

The dam was planned for completion by 2020, with Prime Minister Abiy saying in August the project would not be completed for several years.