Egypt, Ethiopia, Sudan agree to ink deal on Nile dam by 15 January 2020

  • 08:27 07 November 2019

Egypt, Ethiopia, Sudan agree to ink deal on Nile dam by 15 January 2020

The US Department of Treasury said in a statement on Wednesday that ministers from Egypt, Ethiopia, and Sudan reached "a comprehensive, cooperative, adaptive, sustainable, and mutually beneficial agreement on the filling and operation" of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), APA reports quoting sputniknews.

According to the statement, "The foreign ministers noted their agreement to hold four technical governmental meetings at the level of water ministers. The ministers agreed that the World Bank and the United States would support and attend the meetings as observers. The ministers also agreed to work toward completion of an agreement by January 15, 2020, and would attend two meetings in Washington DC on December 9, 2019 and January 13, 2020, to assess and support progress".
Since 2012, Ethiopia has been building what will become Africa's largest hydroelectric power plant. Experts believe that when GERD is launched, it will inevitably lead to water shortages in downstream Sudan and Egypt. The three states have held over a dozen talks since the start of the construction, but disagreements persist.

Controversy spiked earlier this year after media misquoted Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed as declaring his country's readiness to wage war, if needed, to defend its right for the GERD construction.

On 24 October, Egypt and Ethiopia agreed to resume negotiations, in particular by restarting "the operation of the independent technical negotiating commission in a more open and positive format". The agreement was reached at the Russia-Africa Summit and Economic Forum in Sochi.