- The ministers for foreign affairs and water resources of Egypt, Ethiopia, and Sudan met with the Secretary of the Treasury and the President of the World Bank in negotiations on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD).
- The ministers and their delegations held meetings on 28-31 January in Washington D.C. for the negotiations on the filling and operation of GERD
- The fourth and the last trilateral ministerial technical meeting of the three countries, which was held in Ethiopia last week, ended without agreement.
- Ethiopia blamed Egypt for the failure to reach an agreement at the meeting conducted from 8-9 January 2020.
At the conclusion of the meetings, the Ministers reached an agreement on the following issues, subject to the final signing of the comprehensive agreement:
- a schedule for a stage-based filling plan of the GERD;
- a mitigation mechanism for the filling of the GERD during drought, prolonged drought, and prolonged periods of dry years; and
- a mitigation mechanism for the annual and long-term operation of the GERD in drought, prolonged drought, and prolonged periods of dry years.
The ministers also discussed and agreed to finalise a mechanism for the annual and long-term operation of the GERD in normal hydrological conditions, a coordination mechanism, and provisions for the resolution of disputes and the sharing of information.
Additionally, they also agreed to address dam safety and pending studies on the environmental and social impacts of the GERD.
The ministers have instructed their technical and legal teams to prepare the final agreement, which shall include the agreements reached above, for a signing of the three countries by the end of February 202O.
The ministers recognise the significant regional benefits that will result from this agreement and from the operation of the dam with respect to transboundary cooperation, regional development and economic integration.
The ministers reaffirmed the importance of transboundary cooperation in the development of the Blue Nile to improve the lives of the people of Egypt, Ethiopia, and Sudan
Author: Babalwa Bungane
This article was originally published on ESI Africa and is republished with permission with minor editorial changes.