Ethiopian Dam Dispute Causes International Mediation

By Amber Mazan

The Nile River covers about one-tenth of Africa. // National Geographic

The Nile River is a north flowing river which flows from Ethiopia and South Sudan into Egypt. It is one of the largest rivers in Africa and is a factor which helps Egypt industrialize, as the river provides fertile ground for growing crops such as flax seeds, wheat, and pomegranates. Today, the Nile River is used as a major transportation route for Egypt, and its source for 85% of its water. This has caused concern for Egypt due to the construction of the Ethiopian Dam. Ethiopia has been constructing the dam since 2011 which is set to be open in 2020-2022. The total construction cost is around 4 billion U.S. dollars, and it will be the largest dam in Africa and the 7th largest dam in the world.

Egypt has concern over Ethiopia’s mega-dam  it fears it will have too much control over the flow of Africa’s longest river. Filling the reservoir will affect the flow of water downstream, and the slower Ethiopia fills it, the less of an impact it will have. It is estimated that neighboring countries such as Sudan, Kenya, Djibouti and Eritrea will also benefit from the power generated from the hydroelectric dam. Sudan would also benefit from the consistency of the water flow, as Sudan typically has serious flooding problems.

Government bonds and private funds fuel the construction of the dam. // Middle East Monitor

President Donald Trump has recently mediated this dispute. Trump has said to have had a successful talk with officials from Egypt, Ethiopia, and Sudan regarding the issues.

“The meeting went well and discussions will continue during the day,” Trump said on one of his recent twitter posts.

Analysts of the construction of the dam fear that the three affecting countries could be drawn into a serious conflict if it is not resolved. With a call for international mediation, these issues are still progressing.


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