Should financing and running jointly be Egypt’s concern?

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April 4, 2014

Egyptian Minister of Ministry of Foreign Affairs disclosed that Egypt wants to finance the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD). He also pin pointed his government’s need to run the project jointly. Egypt, having pulled itself out of its factual inaccuracies and distortions about the GERD, has showed its interest to finance the Dam recognizing its benefit for its people. This progress in Egypt’s stance about the dam has to be valued. 
The Ethiopian government welcomes Egypt’s recognition of the importance of the Dam but emphasized that the Dam is fully financed only by the government and people of Ethiopia that Egypt could, by no means, take that opportunity. No financial support is needed for this particular Dam project from other countries despite the availability of a number of development cooperation at multi and bilateral levels.

It’s also sad that the Egyptian government discloses its interest to run the GERD jointly with Ethiopia indicating its ignorance about the sovereignty of Ethiopia.   It’s impossible for Egypt to run the project jointly with Ethiopia.

As for the stand here in Ethiopia, Egypt dares neither to finance nor to run this particular Dam project. However, the door to mutual cooperation with Ethiopia and other Nile Basin Countries is open.

It’s vivid that Egypt has neither legal nor moral right to jointly run the GERD. It has been attempting to jeopardize if not to hold back the construction of the Dam since the beginning. Egyptian politicians have done everything they could to put the Dam at risk. Following the failure of all their attempts to risk EGRD, Egypt finally inquired to run the project jointly having comprehended the significance of the Dam to its people in the region. Of course, Egypt, along with other countries in the region, will be beneficiary of the Dam. But it should be known that no unique opportunity will never given to Egypt alone.

Ethiopian has been, from the very beginning, exerting tremendous efforts to show downstream countries (Egypt and Sudan) that the Dam wouldn’t inflict any harm on any one of them. The government of Ethiopia has also been persistently working towards bringing Nail Basin Countries to a win-win solution in utilizing the Nile Waters. But it was Egypt that failed even to sign the New Framework Agreement.

It would be so crucial for Egypt to come to its consciousness and join the cooperation for using the Nile Waters fairly and equitably among countries along the basin. Ethiopia’s position towards the GERD has remained consistent in the past three years. It loudly pronounced neither legal nor moral hindrance jeopardize its projects along the Nile River.

Ethiopia also welcomes Egypt’s need to have a series of negotiations to bring a solution to Nile Waters Utilization. Of course, this will be possible if Egypt is committed to accomplish two things. One is coming to the tripartite negotiation that it boycotted before and negotiate on how to carry out the recommendations of the International Panel of Experts. And the other one is signing the New Framework Agreement that enables the Nile Basin Countries use the Nile Waters fairly and equitably.

These are the two key responsibilities Egyptian politicians need to do to benefit their people. Neither financing nor running the Dam jointly could concern Egypt. Egypt will get the maximum benefit from the Nile waters if it comes to a win-win solution in using the Nile Waters.