David Shinn: Egypt must drop its objection to an Ethiopian dam
By William Davison & Salma El Wardany
(Bloomberg) – Egypt must drop its objection to an Ethiopian dam on the main tributary of the Nile River or it may struggle to ensure adequate supplies from the world’s longest waterway, former U.S. Ambassador to Ethiopia David Shinn said.
A $4.3 billion, 6,000-megawatt hydropower plant, set to be Africa’s largest on completion in 2017, has raised concern in Egypt that it will cut supplies of water allocated by accords put in place more than five decades ago. President Mohamed Mursi told supporters in Cairo on June 10 his government will “defend each drop of Nile water with our blood” if the country’s water security is threatened.
The Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam project, funded solely by Ethiopia’s government, is a “game-changer” because Egypt has historically blocked international financing for large upstream Nile projects, Shinn said on June 12. The best way for Egypt to secure its water needs is by cooperating on the project that could be “transformational” in terms of industrializing East African economies, he said. Read More