Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia have resumed talks over the $4 billion dam Addis Ababa is building on the Nile River which had been suspended for over a year.
The three countries’ ministers of irrigation met in Cairo on Sunday, September 15, 2019, 15 to resume negotiations over filling and operating the dam.
Egypt sees the project as a threat to its water supplies as it fears the dam will restrict Nile River flows, the economic lifeblood of all three countries, from Ethiopia’s highlands, through the deserts of Sudan, to Egyptian fields and reservoirs.
According to evaluations, the dam which is widely considered as Ethiopia’s top priority project is expected to transform the country’s energy profile by adding 6.4GW to its generating capacity and has reached a 65% completion.
The dam project has sparked tensions with downstream Egypt, as Sunday’s meeting came “after a halt of about a year and three months, a period exceeding what was planned”, state news agency MENA cited Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry as saying.
Ethiopia disputes the mega-dam will harm Egypt, and in November, MENA quoted Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed as saying he wanted to preserve Egypt’s Nile River rights.
Shoukry said he hoped the negotiations, due to continunue on Monday, would lead to agreement on a firm timeline for talks that will eventually lead to a binding agreement on the dam’s filling and operation.