Ethiopia, Egypt, Sudan Agree to Establish Independent Study Group for GERD Filling

GERD meetingsWater and Foreign Ministers of Ethiopia, Egypt and Sudan meet to discuss the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) in Addis Ababa on Tuesday 15 May.

Foreign Minister Workeneh Gebeyhu said that Ethiopia would work full-heartedly to the successfulness of the meeting. He also expressed hope that consensus would be reached on many issues that are tabled for discussion.

The ministers discussed issues that the three countries have failed to reach agreement in their last meeting held during the first week of this month. The tripartite meeting was held in Addis Ababa on 5 May 2018, on various issues including the filling of the reservoir and the two studies to be conducted on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam.

In the end, the tripartite meeting of Ethiopia, Egypt and Sudan agreed to establish an independent, national and scientific group to study the filling of the GERD.

The agreement reached during the meeting is a step forward for Ethiopia that has been insisting on reaching agreement on the issue. The three countries have been discussing on filling of the GERD reservoir and operating it for years.

Ethiopia has been discussing with the downstream countries to decide upon the time that should take to fill the dam without harming those countries. The day-long meeting also agreed on ways of presenting queries and observation to the consultancy.

The three countries have also agreed to establish a tripartite infrastructure fund that would allow engaging on joint infrastructure development endeavours.

In 2011, Ethiopia began constructing GERD over the Blue Nile, which it sees the dam as a defining national project and a means of overcoming poverty.