Int’l Panel of Experts on Renaissance Dam concludes meeting

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Addis Ababa, November 29, 2012 (WIC) ¬- The International Panel of Experts that assesses the impact of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam on downstream countries concluded its fourth meeting held from 26- 28November 2012in Addis Ababa.

The Panel, which consists of two experts each of Ethiopia, Egypt and Sudan plus four international experts, had convened its third meeting back in October 2012in Addis Ababa.

Renaissance Dam Project Manager, Engineer Simegnew Bekele said the experts have been evaluating ‘relevant’ documents and the possible environmental impacts of the Dam as well as its socio-economic benefits.

The experts also paid two visits to the construction site in Benishangul Gumuz regional state.

The establishment of the Panel was the late Prime Minister Meles Zenawi’s initiative as a “goodwill gesture” to building trust among riparian states.

It was set up following Ethiopia’s decision to build Africa’s biggest hydroelectric dam on River Nile, the longest river in the world, which sparked tension in downstream countries.

According to ERTA, the Panel is expected to come up with a unanimously agreed upon findings in four months’ time, “with a possibility of extension”, and hand over them to the governments of Sudan, Ethiopia and Egypt.