A more recent trilateral meeting mediated by the African Union in mid-July, however, appeared to diffuse the situation with all three countries reaching a major common understanding towards achieving an agreement (Al Jazeera, 2020). Further, it means that this figure should be used to assess the impact of the Dam on the Egyptian economy for the purposes of calculating compensation resulting from loss of flow. Addis Ababa expects to sell no less than 4,000 Megawatts (MW) of electricity to its regional partners in the coming decade. The dispute has prompted numerous international interventions, including by Gulf Arab states, which have issued political statements and led mediation efforts. The multi-services provided by the hydropower development and its technical advantages could be driving forces for local, regional and national development, and a catalyst for sustainable development. Learn the history of Toronto from the city's official website. The situation seemed to improve in the beginning of 2015 when tripartite negotiations were held in order to determine principles of cooperation. Owned and operated by the Ethiopian Electric Power company, the 145-m-tall roller-compacted concrete gravity dam . Cooperation among the three countries has never been more important as demand for water rises, she added, due to factors such as population growth, urbanization and industrialization. Ethiopia's Grand Renaissance Dam. However, as a result of the ability and willingness of Ethiopians at home and abroad to invest in the dam project, the government was able to raise a significant portion of the money needed to start the construction of the GERD. To African commentators in recent decades, massive investments in mega-energy and irrigation projects were emblematic of the African economic emergence, and Ethiopia at that time vaunted itself as one of the fastest-growing economies in the region. First came the 1999 Cooperative Framework Agreement (CFA). This paper discusses the challenges and benefits of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), which is under construction and expected to be operational on the Blue Nile River in Ethiopia in a few years. In addition, no independent, multilateral Environmental and Social Impact Assessments has been carried out suggesting that Ethiopia is reneging from the 2015 Declaration of Principles (Kandeel, 2020). What Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia must overcome to all benefit from the Grand Renaissance Dam. "Today as you see behind me . A political requirement will be to agree on rules for filling the GERD reservoir and on operating rules for the GERD, especially during periods of drought. Ethiopia has the basins most suitable locations for hydropower production, and its damming of the Blue Nile would significantly increase Sudan's potential for irrigated agriculture. One senior advisor to former Ethiopian prime minister Meles Zenawi alluded to it when he said that Ethiopia will supply the electricity, Sudan the food, and Egypt the money. To which we might add, and South Sudan will supply the oil.. Attia, H. & Saleh, M. (2021). The Chinese-financed Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), despite a recent breakdown in talks on Africa's largest development project, risks powering up a range of downstream tensions and rivalries. The Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam will increase energy generation and development in Ethiopia, but it may have unwanted consequences for other Nile River users. In turn, Egypt water policy and management should be changes or modified to overcome the great challenges. Furthermore, resolving conflicts involving the Nile River is most likely to be more successful through improvements in relations between the riparians and not through external intervention. Disadvantages Slow process Could be washed to the wrong direction Start up costs Lesson 4: Long term investment, It can't cope with he propagation rate of water hyacinth. In order to sustain this benefit in the long run, Ethiopias neighbouring countries will have to continue to purchase hydroelectric energy, and rainfall will have to fall at the same rate on the Ethiopian Plateau. Attempts to resolve the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam dispute over the past decade have reached a deadlock. Ethiopia's Grand Renaissance Dam: Ending Africa's Oldest Geopolitical Rivalry? Ethiopia could argue that those imperial powers did not foresee the decolonisation of Africa and that this represented a watershed event that profoundly changed the foundation on which the Nile Water Treaties were constructed. Egypt, fearing major disruptions to its access to the Nile's waters, originally intended to prevent even the start of the GERD's construction. First, as noted above, Ethiopia contributes 86% of the water in the Nile and so it seems only natural that it has an equitable claim to using Nile waters to aid growth in its impoverished economy. If it were to take place during a sequence of years in which the Blue Nile flow and the AHD reservoir itself was low, Egypt might not be able to withdraw sufficient water supplies to meet all of its agricultural needs. It will take between eight and ten years to fill the new dam. The GERD and the Revival of the Egyptian-Sudanese Dispute over the Nile Waters. Article 5 requires that watercourse states utilise an international watercourse in an equitable and reasonable manner and creates the duty to cooperate in the protection and development of the watercourse. It has led a diplomatic initiative to undermine support for the dam in the region; as well as in other countries supporting the project such as China and Italy. Indeed, Egypt has called the filling of the dam an existential threat, as it fears the dam will negatively impact the countrys water supplies. The dam was named the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) because it was designed to bring about the economic and renewal of Ethiopia, a nation mentioned in Genesis 2:13 as the Land in which . Match. As they consider this controversial issue, all 11 riparian countries should seek to improve relations among themselves beyond their relationship with the Nile, especially in mutually beneficial areas such as trade; educational and cultural exchanges; the management of natural resources, including water; dealing with threats to peace and security, including the suppression and prevention of terrorism and extremism; and confronting major challenges to economic growth and poverty alleviation, such as climate change, widespread illiteracy, and poor infrastructure. Because the strategy of land allocation and dam construction relied on senior executive decisions and foreign funding from China, above all, the government was largely freed of pressures of transparency and accountability. Hydrological Sciences Journal, 56(4), 687-702. Moreover, it arguably prohibits any reduction of flow to Egypt by limiting Ethiopias use of the Dam to electricity generation alone. It provides clear benefits to all three riparian, such as flood control, reduced flood damages and sediment control. It was in the hope of protecting Lake Turkana against such threats that it was listed as a World Heritage Site. These two factors could become serious problems. "I came to Cairo on my first official trip to the region to hear . In contrast, other watercourse states on the Nile have lent their support to the Dam. It's free to sign up and bid on jobs. The other riparian states can then be brought in, either through the Nile Basin Initiative (NBI) or some other regional framework, to secure an agreement that is binding on all the states. For example, in 2017, the UNSC highlighted the security risks of water stress in the Lake Chad Basin Region, affecting Cameroon, Chad, Niger, and Nigeria, based on a combination of water scarcity, drought, desertification and land degradation. It's very unpredictable and it can be very dangerous," says Pottinger. In my opinion, this should be negotiable, to fill the lake over a longer period, and only when the river is sufficiently full. It and several other large dams in Ethiopia could turn the country into Africa's hydropower hub. In fact, about 85 % of the overall Nile flow originates on Ethiopian territory (Swain, 2011). Al Jazeera (2020). Sima Aldardari. Ethiopia has never 'consumed' significant shares of the Nile's water so far, as its previous political and economic fragility in combination with a lack of external financial support, due to persistent Egyptian opposition to projects upstream, prevented it from implementing large-scale projects. Given agricultures importance to pro-poor economic growth, Egypt, which has significant experience and expertise in irrigation agriculture, can share some of that expertise with other countries in exchange for increased trade with them. GIGA Focus No. Churning waters: Strategic shifts in the Nile basin. In terms of the old or anachronistic law, two of the Nile Water Treaties do not bind Ethiopia meanwhile the third does not actually preclude the construction of a dam. casting the DoP as a treaty) has the potential to abrogate the Nile Waters Treaties that Egypt holds so dear. Egypt had asked the UNSC to push the three countries to adhere to their obligations in accordance with the rules of international law in order to reach a fair and balanced solution to the issue of the GERD. Egypts repeated references to the rules of international law is part of an effort to maintain its so-called natural and historical rights that were established and reaffirmed by the 1929 Anglo-Egyptian Treaty and 1959 Agreement between Egypt and Sudan, respectivelytreaties many of the other involved parties reject as anachronistic and untenable. The CFA was a political success for the eight upstream states such as Ethiopia as it favoured those states and isolated the downstream states of Egypt and Sudan and made them appear recalcitrant. International rights organisations have reported that many cases of displacement were not voluntary and that entire communities were driven from their villages. The Chinese then took over the funding amidst heightened international concern regarding the social, technical, and environmental repercussions of the Ethiopian dams. Thus, it is only through cooperation that Egypt, Ethiopia, Sudan, and the other riparians can peacefully resolve conflicts over the Nile and achieve the type of water use that will contribute significantly to regional economic and human development. Both citizens and governments should be made part of the solution to the water-related conflicts that now threaten peace and security in the Nile Basin. This was an attempt at a wholesale replacement for the Nile Waters Treaties. Note that, under Article 62(2) VCLT, territorial treaties are excepted from the change in circumstances rule. Kandeel, A. On March 4, 1982, Bertha Wilson became the first woman appointed to the Supreme Court of Canada. Egypts Nile Water Policy under Sisi: Security Interests Promote Rapprochement with Ethiopia. Ethiopia announced in April 2011 that it intends to build four large dams on the Nile, including one of the largest in the world, the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (formerly known as Project X or the Grand Millennium Dam).This huge dam will flood 1,680 square kilometers of forest in northwest Ethiopia, near the Sudan border, and create a reservoir that is nearly twice as large as Lake Tana . Test. The Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, a 1.1-mile-long concrete colossus, is set to become the largest hydropower plant in Africa. Such an understanding and appreciation of Egypts water vulnerability would help the riparians develop a water management protocol that can significantly enhance equitable and reasonable use while minimizing significant harm to downstream riparians. Even then, the initial studies did not extend beyond the borders with Kenya. Egypt and Ethiopia have once again locked horns over the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) on the Blue Nile. An agreement between Ethiopia, Egypt and Sudan on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam is within reach, with the United Nations standing ready to support talks and the African Union-led process to settle remaining differences, the Under-Secretary-General for Political and Peacebuilding Affairs told the Security Council in a 29 June videoconference meeting*. The unilateral decision taken by Ethiopia - which never recognised the 1959 agreement but had previously not been able to challenge it in fact - to build the Great Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) in 2011 represents a major political challenge to the 1959 Agreement. As a consequence, Ethiopia has not been able to make significant use of the rivers waters. His research indicates that rapid filling of the reservoir could lead to severe economic losses, though he notes that expanding groundwater extraction, adjusting the operation of Egypt's Aswan High Dam, and cultivating crops that require less water could help offset some of the impact. This is hardly a revelation, as this strategy has long been foremost in the minds of the ruling elites in Addis Ababa and supported by the international powers. On the surface, the 558 ft tall dam Africa's biggest hydropower project belies Ethiopia's financial muscle. As a result, the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) has recognised water security as a possible threat to international peace. DISADVANTAGES OF ASWAN DAM the agriculture output of Egypt. This is because the VCLT allows an older treaty to be rescinded by a new one if the new one concerns the same topic (Article 59). Ethiopia should get its fair share of water that originates in Ethiopia. Since plans for Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) were first announced in 2011, Cairo has viewed the project as a serious threat to the country's water supply. Egypt has also escalated its call to the international community to get involved. Although talks chaired by President Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa on behalf of the African Union have resolved many issues associated with the filling of the GERDs reservoir, there is still no agreement on the role that the dam will play in mitigating droughts. Thus, as with the Watercourses Convention and the CFA, the DoP does not offer a clear legal resolution to the dispute. You can revoke your consent to the site operator at any time by unsubscribing from the newsletter. The $4 billion hydroelectric dam . Mainly, for the downstream countries, the. Egypt, Ethiopia to form joint committee on Renaissance Dam. The Government of Egypt, a country which relies heavily on the waters of the Nile, has demanded that Ethiopia cease construction on the dam as a preconditions to negotiations, sought regional support for its position, and some political leaders have discussed methods to sabotage it. The failure of the latest talks over the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) has intensified tensions between Ethiopia and downstream states Egypt and Sudan. Could the Nile dispute be an opportunity to boost freshwater technology? Match. Water scarcity is a growing problem. Some have mythified it and claim it is the Gihon River of the Biblical Book of Genesis that encircles the entire land of Cush, thereby adding a religious dimension to the politicisation. Article IV of the DoP provides that the parties shall utilize their shared water resources in their respective territories in an equitable and reasonable manner and Article III provides that the parties shall take all appropriate measures to prevent the causing of significant harm in utilizing the Blue/Main Nile. Ethiopia can make a strong case that the operation of the Dam complies with each principle. Afraid that a drought might appear during the filling period, Egypt wants the filling to take place over a much longer period. Faced with the anachronistic Nile Waters Treaties on the one hand and the absence of a suitable replacement on the other, discussions about the Dam have fallen into something of a stalemate. Under the Ethiopian constitution, the state is the proprietor of the countrys land and natural resources, which gives the government significant control over the allocation and use of land. However, it also entails potential negative effects on Egypt, if not carefully managed (see alsoSecurity implications of growing water scarcity in Egypt). Although the immediate issue at stakesecuring a technical agreement on the filling of the GERDs reservoiris among Egypt, Ethiopia, and Sudan, the broader and longer-term goal should be for all 11 statesincluding Tanzania, Uganda, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda, Burundi, Kenya, Eritrea, and South Sudanto agree on a legal regime for the management of this important watercourse. Ethiopia, Egypt, Sudan reach 'major common understanding' on dam. According to some estimates, the Ethiopian government had to arrange for the resettlement of 1.5 million people in the four regions of Gambela, Somali, Afar, and Benishangul-Gumuz. Moreover, with GERD, Ethiopia opts for a hydropower expansion strategy on the Blue Nile, and not an irrigation strategy. Egypt wants control and guarantees for its share of Nile waters. The so-called Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (Gerd) is Africa's biggest hydroelectric project to date. Before discussing the benefits, the article will brief the general technical overview of the GERDP. It states in Principle III that the parties shall take all appropriate measures to prevent the causing of significant harm. Indeed, Egypt has called the filling of the dam an. Trilateral talks between Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan to finalise an agreement on a cooperation framework for the GERD have been mediated by the African Union, World Bank and United States. An unsubscribe function is also at the bottom of every newsletter. "The Israeli installation of the missile system around the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam was completed after the Israeli work began in May 2019, considering that it is the first Israeli air defense system abroad that can launch (two types of missiles), the first with a range of 5 km, and the second with a range of 50 kilometer". per year, that would constitute a drought and, according to Egypt and Sudan, Ethiopia would have to release some of the water in the dams reservoir to deal with the drought. Officials in Addis Ababa argue that the GERD will have no major impact on water flow into the Nile, instead arguing that the hydropower dam will provide benefits to countries in the region, including as a source of affordable electric power and as a major mechanism for the management of the Nile, including the mitigation of droughts and water salinity. Ethiopia, however, prefers to have the flexibility to make decisions on how to deal with droughts. However, an agreement was still far from reach. Hence, it seems that such an argument would receive a warm welcome from the current bench were the matter ever to be adjudicated there. (2012). Monday January 2, 2017. Stratfor Worldview. Ethiopias Blue Nile Dam is an opportunity for regional collaboration, Developing countries are key to climate action, Self-organizing Nigeria: The antifragile state, Managing the compounding debt and climate crises. July 26, 2022. What could have been strictly technical negotiations have turned into a political deadlock. Amazingly, the normally required social and environmental impact studies were only conducted three years after construction of the dam had began. Similarly, in 2018, the UNSC noted the water security risks in African nations such as Somalia, Sudan and Mali. In that light, Egypt should minimize trips to Washington, D.C., New York, and Brussels, and instead use its diplomatic resources to improve its relations with the other riparian states. Indeed, the ICJ confirmed in Gabikovo-Nagymaros Project that all riparian states have a basic right to an equitable and reasonable sharing of the resources of the watercourse. Moreover, these principles were pulled through into the DoP agreed by both Egypt and Ethiopia. In response, Ethiopia threatened military force to defend the dam and protect its interests (The New Arab, 2020a). The 1959 agreement allocated all the Nile Rivers waters to Egypt and Sudan, leaving 10 billion cubic meters (b.c.m.) After all, the VCLT allows states to withdraw from or terminate a treaty owing to a fundamental change of circumstances which has occurred and which was not foreseen by the parties (Article 62(1)). The Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) and hydroelectric project is located 700 km northeast of the capital city Addis Abeba, in the Benishangul--Gumaz region of Ethiopia, along the Blue Nile River. Basically, Ethiopia should cooperate with the other riparian states in developing and adopting an effective drought mitigation protocol, one that includes the possibility that GERD managers may have to release water from the reservoir, when necessary, to mitigate droughts. The International Court of Justice (ICJ) takes an expansionist view towards decolonisation as seen in the Chagos Islands Advisory Opinion, in which it allowed the decolonisation agenda to trump the UKs lack of consent to any contentious proceedings. However, the DoP lacks these key traits, and these omissions suggest that it may simply be a non-binding declaration designed to ease political tensions and to illuminate a way forward. "The Blue Nile is the lifeblood of Egypt and its people and critics fear the dam could significantly reduce water flow to the country." "Climate change is such a big unknown. March 14, 2020, 6:57 AM. This is an intergovernmental partnership to provide a forum for consultation and coordination for the sustainable management and development of shared water. In contrast, if water from the Dam were to be used for irrigation purposes by Ethiopia (i.e. Hence, the customary law argument might be too ambitious. The Tripartite National Council (TNC) was then established, consisting of members from each of the three countries with the aim of carrying through the IPoE's recommendations (Attia & Saleh, 2021). It concludes that Ethiopias legal position is far stronger and that a negotiated agreement in its favour is the most likely outcome of the dispute. Still, Egypt may be playing with fire if it were to press the legal significance of the DoP. A regional framework for the management of the Nile already existsthe Nile Basin Initiative mentioned abovewhich is a partnership among the Nile riparian states that was launched in 1999. Despite the intense disagreements, though, Ethiopia continues to move forward with the dam, arguing that the hydroelectric project will significantly improve livelihoods in the region more broadly. They generate electricity, store water for crop irrigation and help to prevent floods. The Eastern Nile Basin comprises Egypt, Sudan, and Ethiopia. The Dam is used to generate electricity and went into partial operation in 2022. A series of talks since then have largely failed to produce a consensus among the concerned countries, with tensions rising again after Ethiopia announced its intention to begin filling the dam in July 2020. Indeed, Principle II notes that the purpose of the [Dam] is for power generation and regional integration through generation of sustainable and reliable clean energy supply. This is crucial given that hydroelectricity generation simply involves holding water back behind a dam for a period of time, and then releasing it again in a managed manner so that the electric turbines can spin consistently. Misplaced Opposition to the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD): Update. The Chinese donors who have agreed to fund it have performed no independent social or environmental impact reviews. There are three key articles. The withdrawal from the project by Deltares has been met by a wave of objections in Egypt for fear . However, Sudans future water requirements will likely exceed its water quota as defined in the 1959 Agreement. Egyptian players abroad: Mostafa Mohamed's Nantes defeated at PSG, Trezeguet.. Italy Serie A results & fixtures (25th matchday), Egypts Prosecution investigates Hoggpool, Six European nations express concern over growing violence in Palestinian territories, Egyptian Premier League fixtures (21st matchday), US official says Biden expected to tighten rules on US investment in China. The politicisation of the Niles water and the utilisation of development projects to achieve political ends are not new phenomena. This is good news for Egypt and Sudan as hydropower means little actual water withdrawal. Egypt relies on the river for as much as 90 percent of its freshwater and sees the new dam as an existential . Many historical grievances and distrust remain on the Ethiopian side regarding Egypt (Gebreluel, 2014), with some Ethiopian journalists assessing the 'Declaration of Principles' as being more in favour of Egypt than Ethiopia (Zegabi East Africa News, 2015). The Nile-COM is the highest political and decisionmaking body of the NBI. It is perhaps the most glaring demonstration of environmental or climate injustice that the youngest continent (60 percent of the population is below the age of twenty-five) is also the one that has historically least contributed to the industrial emissions of greenhouse gases yet is likely the one that will be hardest affected by meteorological
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