Khartoum: the Nile’s two Giants always feel calm and relaxed! — the Tripartite Committee on GERD reaches agreement on contentious points

Mekki Elmoghrabi
By Mekki Center July 24, 2015

Khartoum; the Nile’s two Giants always feel calm and relaxed! — the Tripartite Committee on GERD reaches agreement on contentious points

Khartoum’s meeting of the tripartite technical committee on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) concluded successfully on Friday 24th July, 2015. The 7th round hosted by Sudan started amid deep disputes between Egypt and Ethiopia, but as usual – whenever the meeting in Khartoum – good results come out in the country that has good relations between the two Giants of the Nile Basin.

The ministerial delegations headed by water resources ministers from Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia; Hossam Moghazi, Moataz Moussa and Almayho Tigno respectively, discussed the proposals submitted by firms that will conduct the technical evaluation on the impacts of the dam. The three parties reached an agreement on all contentious points that appeared very controversial in the 6th round held in Cairo early July.

In his speech during the talks, the Sudanese minister of electricity and water resources, Muataz Musa, affirmed that the atmosphere of mutual understanding, would achieve the common positive objectives, “It’s obligatory to work hard and exert more efforts to hardness the availability of the opportunities in our region to ensure that our people have enjoyed stability and our sources could be used for cohesion and peace”, Musa said to Media.

The final statement said the three parties, enhanced by the strong will of their leadership engaged in positive negotiations for the mutual benefits of the peoples of their countries and the region, “The three parties will receive the offers from the consultative French company on 12th August, and the 8th tripartite meeting will be held in Addis Ababa on 20th August”, the statement said.

From his part, Sudan’s Ambassador to Cairo Abdul Mahmoud Abdul Halim – in an interview – affirmed that the Sudanese efforts have succeeded in declaring the principles signed in Khartoum between Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia, “it was satisfactory to the three parties based on the fact that the river must be an arena of cooperation not conflict and no harm for any party”, Abdul Mahmoud said.

Khartoum meeting discussed the technical and financial offers of the consultative companies which were selected to conduct the studies recommended by the international experts committee, the studies will be on the environmental, economic and social impacts of the GERD.

On 23 March, Egyptian President Abdelfattah El-Sisi, Sudanese President Omar Al Bashir, and Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn, signed in Khartoum a framework agreement, and then El-Sisi paid a historical visit to Ethiopia and addressed the Ethiopian parliament.

The three countries had previously formed a “12 experts committee” to select a consultative firm to evaluate the impacts of the GERD on Sudan and Egypt.

In 2013, Ethiopia started the construction of the dam and diverted the Blue Nile, a step that strongly protested by Cairo and considered by the Egyptian government as a grave violation to 1929 treaty that granted Egypt the biggest share of the Nile’s water, as well as veto right over any project involving the Nile by upstream Nile basin countries.

GERD; $4.2 billion cost and 6,000 MW production, will be Africa’s largest hydroelectric dam in 2017. The construction of the 1,780-metre-long and 145-metre high dam is completely financed by the government and the people of Ethiopia.


Mekki Elmoghrabi
By Mekki Center July 24, 2015