Ethiopia to skip Nile dam talks in US with Egypt, Sudan

Ethiopia says the dam, which is now more than 70 percent complete, is needed to provide electricity for development [File: Tiksa Negeri/Reuters]
Ethiopian government says it will not attend this week’s talks as its delegation has not completed consultations.

Ethiopia will not attend this week’s latest round of US-brokered talks on a disputed Nile dam project with Egypt and Sudan, the country’s water ministry has announced.

Ethiopia will skip the talks in Washington, DC on Thursday and Friday “because the country’s delegation hasn’t concluded its consultation with relevant stakeholders”, the Ministry of Water, Irrigation and Energy announced on its Facebook page on Wednesday.

“The decision has been communicated with the US Treasury secretary.”

A final deal on the massive Great Ethiopian Renaissance Dam was expected this month, but US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, on his Ethiopia visit last week, said an agreement may now take months as “a great deal of work remains”.

The dispute over what will be Africa’s largest hydroelectric dam pits Ethiopia’s desire to pull millions out of poverty against Egypt’s concerns over critical water supply.

Ethiopia’s announcement came amid widespread concerns in the country that its delegation was pressured by the US to reach a deal on the $4.6bn dam that is nearing completion.

The US became involved in the talks at Egypt’s invitation.

“Ethiopia will never sign on an agreement that will surrender its right to use the Nile River,” the Ethiopian ambassador to the US, Fitsum Arega, said on Twitter.

Egypt wants the dam to be filled more slowly to reduce restrictions on the flow of the Nile. It says the dam is needed to provide electricity for development. In January, it announced it will start filling the dam – now more than 70 percent complete – in July at the start of the rainy season.



  1. What the Egyptian side wants is not that mystery. They know that there is nothing to be done to stop the building of the dam thru completion. That is a dead giveaway. What Egypt needs is partially clear and includes several items. It wants to a managing party in running the dam when and after it is read, not from outside looking in but on site as a member of running the dam. That is not all. I guarantee you this wherein Egypt will claim a loss in its GDP amounting in billions because of the dam and will demand immediate and annual/periodic remuneration on its terms only. That means the old country will have to cough up billions no matter what. There a drought; I don’t give a damn, pay me!!! My economy is on a down side; I don’t care, pay me!!!! Egypt’s el-Sisi knows very well this dam is going to be a shot in the arm for the old country. The dam, if managed properly, will generate huge amount of cheap electricity that will unleash a booming industrialization. Sisi know that and may want to turn the old country into becoming a cash cow. Egypt has never sustained itself without handouts. Nile itself was and has been a handout. Cold war was a handout to Egypt more than any other North and Sub-Saharan countries. Middle East crisis has been a feeder line to Egypt since 1948. Now the specter of terrorism is the ice on the ‘halawa’ for the rulers there. It has been getting all what it wants all along from the former Soviet Union and now from the West. Can someone explain to me why does Egypt need F-16’s and the latest Mirage jets? It has signed an accord with its former adversary, Israel and there has been virtual peace between the two. So why does Egypt have to have these and other advanced military hardware? Because its rulers say so. I want 50 F-16’s; you got it!! I want 50 Mirages and I want it now!!! You got it!!! I want to build this submarine and I need to have the technology, now!!! You got it!!! I want those tough cookie ‘abd’s’ niggers in Addis/Finfine in the grinder and I want your help and I need it now; you got it!! I think Egypt is now suffering from a serious bout of affluenza.


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