CAIRO: Ethiopia’s Renaissance Dam is scheduled to start operating by late 2015, said deputy chair of the National Coordinating Council for the dam project, Zadig Abraha, in a press conference held on Wednesday.
The dam is supposed to produce 750 megawatts daily, he added, which will be used for both local consumption and export. By providing electric power to Kenya, Djibouti, Sudan, Yemen and South Sudan, Ethiopia can earn $2 billion annual, Abraha said.
Regarding Egypt’s stance on the dam, Zaddiq said that Ethiopia’s position is clear. Ethiopians believe that the Nile River belongs to both Ethiopia and Egypt, and that the two countries should benefit from it equally, he explained.
“A report by an international experts committee proved that downstream [Egypt and Sudan] countries are not affected by building the dam. The international community is totally aware of the fairness of our case. We seek communication with the Egyptian people to correct the misconceptions politicians have deeply rooted in them that Ethiopia is an enemy,” Abraha said.
The international committee on the dam includes six members from Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia and four international experts in dam engineering, water resources planning, hydrological affairs, environment, and social and economic impacts of dams.
However, the project has led to heightened tensions with Egypt, which fears a potential reduction of its own share of Nile water estimated by some experts at 12 billion cubic meters annually.
The committee has issued a report about the need of conducting more studies about the effects of constructing the dam.