| 15 April 2024, Monday |

Egypt, Sudan Politicizing Renaissance Dam Construction, Ethiopian Diplomat Says

Primary generation of electricity with two turbines of the Renaissance Dam in Ethiopia may start in two or three months, and the country does not plan to suspend dam construction because of Sudan’s possible complaint with the United Nations, Ethiopian Ambassador to Russia Alemayehu Tegenu said in an interview with Sputnik.

“The construction of the dam is going quick, it is now 81% completed, and the second [stage of] dam filling is also successfully completed. Now there are other activities currently [being carried out] at the site. After two or three months, the dam will start electric generation with two turbines … [Other] turbines will start next year. And the dam will be completed as planned in 2023,” Tegenu said.

Ethiopia will continue dam construction in line with the Declaration of Principles, which the three countries’ leaders signed in 2015 in Khartoum, regardless of Sudan’s statements, the ambassador assured. The actions of Sudan and Egypt run counter to the spirit of the EU-assisted trilateral negotiations, the diplomat stressed.
“I don’t think they can impact the process of the dam construction because the dam is, as I already told you, 81% complete, with about 19% remaining that will be a very simple part of the job,” Tegenu concluded.

Egypt, Sudan Politicizing Renaissance Dam Construction

Egypt and Sudan are politicizing the issue of the Renaissance Dam’s construction on the Blue Nile and are trying to get other countries involved just to solve their internal problems, while the dam in fact carries no environmental risks, Tegenu added.

“There is no single drop of water reduction for the downstream countries. Egypt and Sudan internationalize and politicize the dam to solve their internal affairs. The dam has no significant harm [for Egypt and Sudan],” Tegenu said.
The dam is designed in a way to prevent damage for the downstream countries and to secure a “win-win, equitable” utilization of resources, the ambassador emphasized.

“There is no reason for the two countries [to be] standing against the dam. Simply, to tackle their internal affairs, they use the dam aspect. They are trying to politicize the dam issue, the dam issue is purely technical. If there are technical issues, engineers could discuss and settle the issues. In this case, we see no technical issues,” Tegenu added.

Ethiopia Wants Second Russia-Africa Summit to Be Held in Addis Ababa

Ethiopia insists that the second Russia-Africa Summit should be held in its capital of Addis Ababa, since this is the most suitable venue, Tegenu said in the interview.

“In October 2019, our Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed Ali participated in the Sochi summit and proposed to conduct this second Africa-Russia Summit in Addis Ababa, he invited delegations members to come in 2022 to participate in this summit in Addis Ababa. So, we insist that this summit has to be held in Addis Ababa,” Tegenu said.

“We have a lot of experience to host such kinds of conferences and forums. Addis Ababa is the capital city of Africa, the headquarters of the AU [African Union] is in Addis Ababa. So, there is no reason to conduct this forum [anywhere] rather than Addis Ababa,” Tegenu added.

Ethiopia has already discussed this with Russian authorities and is waiting for a response, the diplomat specified.

“Another important thing here, Ethiopian Airlines are connecting all Africans together. [There are flights to Moscow] four times a week. So, when I say we have good facilities, it includes the flights,” Tegenu concluded.

The first Russia-Africa Summit was held in the Russian resort city of Sochi in October 2019. The event, co-chaired by the presidents of Russia and Egypt, drew over 6,000 representatives of 104 countries, including the leaders of over 40 African nations.

  • Sputnik