The Ministers of Water Affairs of Ethiopia, Egypt and Sudan concluded the eleven day African Union (AU) led tripartite negotiation on the Guidelines and Rules on the first filling and annual operation of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) on 13 July 2020.
The GERD’s construction began in 2011 and successive rounds of negotiation have failed to reach a comprehensive agreement.
The meetings were attended by the observers from the Republic of South Africa, EU, USA, and experts assigned by the chairperson of the AU.
The three countries have communicated the first progress report to the chairperson of the AU on 10 July 2020 and the second report on 14 July 2020.
“Ethiopia appreciates the initiative taken by the AU and its current chairperson H. E. Cyril Ramaphosa, President of the Republic of South Africa. Ethiopia recognizes the AU-led process is at a very encouraging state. The countries have managed to reach understanding on their interests instead of reiterating their positions.”
“Ethiopia would like to stress negotiated agreement is the only way out. The most outstanding issue is the impact of the guidelines and the Rules on Ethiopia’s future water use upstream of the GERD. In this respect, the absence of a comprehensive treaty governing the relations of Ethiopia, Egypt and Sudan with regard to the Nile is the major factor that poses a challenge.”
*The Ministry of Water, Irrigation, and Energy – Ethiopia
The three countries were unable to reach an agreement. The negotiation is expected to continue after review of the outcome so far by the Chairperson of the AU Bureau Members and leaders of Ethiopia, the Sudan and Egypt.