Nile: The Int’l Panel of Experts on Renaissance dam officially launched
After a year-long foot dragging, the expert committee on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam project was officially launched its activities in Addis Ababa, on Tuesday, May 8.
The Committee, which so far informally called ‘The Tripartite Committee’, is now officially named ‘International Panel of Experts (IPoE) Meeting on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam project’.
The panel is expected to complete its study in 9 months and submit a detailed report on the 6,000 MW dam project, located in north-western Ethiopia. The panel is tasked with assessing ‘the impact of the construction of the dam and whether there will be any negative impact on downstream countries’.
The panel consists ten experts. Six of the panel members are from Ethiopia, Sudan, Egypt and Sudan, while the rest are nationals of Britain, France, South Africa and Germany, according to the Ethiopian Radio and television Agency (ERTA).
Several news outlets quoted Sudanese ambassador to Ethiopia, Gen. Abdulrahman Seer el Karim, as saying that ‘Ethiopia’s Grand Renaissance Dam is the dream of all countries concerned’.
Two days later, the experts of the Panel visited the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam project site, according to the Ethiopian Herald.
The news stated that:
The International Panel of Experts for assessment of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam Project, studying the impact of the construction of the dam and whether there will be any negative impact on downstream countries, has paid a visit to the Dam’s construction site. The experts noted that the visit would make their forthcoming work easier. Following a closed door session on Thursday, Egyptian Ambassador to Ethiopia, Mohammed Idris, said the experts would be carrying out carry out activities that fulfilled the needs of all three countries based on the realities on the ground. Sudan’s Ambassador to Ethiopia, Abdulrahman Seer el Karim noted that he was now able to realize how well the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam Project was progressing. The Chief Executive Officer of the Ethiopian Electric Power Corporation, Mihret Debebe, stressed that the project was being executed in such a way that it would minimize any tensions among neighboring countries.“The International Panel of Experts will realize from the study, design and current status of the project that there is nothing hidden from the riparian countries,” Mihret said.“They will realize that the reality is far from the rumours that were disseminated about the project. [The project] will have quite a significant role in building mutual trust among the countries.” The International Panel of Experts which commenced its activity officially on Tuesday consists of 10 members; six are from Ethiopia, Egypt and Sudan while the remaining four are independent international experts. The selection of the international experts was made according to criteria agreed by Ethiopia, Egypt and Sudan. Construction of the dam began last year and Ato Alemayehu Tegenu said the establishment of the Panel of Experts was indicative of the commitment of Ethiopia, Egypt and Sudan to develop the river for the common benefit of their peoples. Cooperation over the Nile is seen as a milestone in managing the river to enable the riparian countries meet their growing energy demand.
Source: ERTA – May 15, 2012 and Ethiopian Herald – May, 17, 2012.
Nile: Tripartite Committee on Renaissance dam convenes in Cairo
Analysis: The Nile Tripartite Technical Committee(April 2012)
Nile: Ministers agree on Int’l Experts Panel for Renaissance dam(Dec. 2011)
Check the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance dam archive for previous and forthcoming news and analyses.