Why I Defend Ethiopia’s Sovereign Rights Over It Water Resources and the GERD

Ten years ago, Al-Jazeera sponsored an Arab & Africa symposium in Doha, Qatar. I attended the  forum at the invitation of Al-Jazeera. The theme was to bring Arab and Black African intellectuals and influencers closer.

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A hot topic that surfaced was “hydro hegemony” emanating from the initiation of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD). Egyptian and Sudanese experts felt strongly that the GERD will pose a threat to Egypt. Naturally, I defended Ethiopia’s sovereign rights over the Blue Nile and other transboundary rivers for the betterment of its people without causing harm to either Egypt or Sudan. Neither the Sudanese nor Egyptians were convinced.
Following the conference, Al-Jazeera published a few of my articles, including perceptions on both sides of the debate–Egyptian perceptions of Ethiopia and Ethiopians and vice versa.These perceptions remain the same a decade later. Fortunately, the GERD is no longer a mirage;
Below is a video by a Westerner concerning the GERD and its current status. I urge you to watch this informative video.
I commend Emperor Haile Selassie and the US Bureau of Reclamation for identifying hydro and irrigation projects on the Blue NIle (Abbay River); the late Prime Minister of Ethiopia, Meles Zenawi for initiating the GERD; former Ethiopian Prime Minister Haile Mariam Desalegn for signing the Declaration of Principles (DOP) with Egypt and Sudan, the Ethiopian Diaspora across the globe for defending Ethiopia’s legitimate rights, the people of Ethiopia for financing this $5 billion infrastructure project and Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed for not caving in to Egyptian pressure..
I have argued repeatedly that the way out of the stalemate on the GERD is not war but a Nile Water sharing agreement among all 11 riparian countries at the earliest opportunity. The African Union and IGAD can play a constructive role in pushing this African agenda.
Aklog Birara , Dr
(Water and Power Unleashed)

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