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In Its Final Phase of Construction, Africa's Largest Hydroelectric Dam is Expected to Generate Over 5GW Of Electricity.

The Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, Africa's biggest hydropower project, is nearing completion. A striking example of Ethiopia's aspirations is the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), which is built on the Blue Nile River. It shows that modernization and economic growth are goals the nation is willing to achieve. After starting in April 2011, the project is finally nearing completion after 13 years. Africa's largest dam will be finished by this massive hydroelectric project. The dam's projected construction costs have grown to a maximum of $4 billion throughout time. Beginning in 2024, the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) project had accomplished a noteworthy advancement. With 94.6% of the dam's construction completed, Ethiopia's energy and infrastructure sectors entered a new chapter. The dam offers lessons into pushing Africa's development boundaries to construct stronger and better infrastructure. 

Ethiopia's electricity generation capacity is predicted to treble with the completion and operation of the GERD, boosting the nation's power supply. The country's ambition to become a significant power exporter in the area will also be accelerated by the GERD. The largest hydroelectric dam in Africa has the potential to produce more than 5 gigawatts of power per year. Additionally, it will make it easier to address the demands and problems related to power for more than 50% of Ethiopians who do not currently have it. The dam offers Ethiopia another route to regional leadership and economic prosperity. They intend to export one billion dollars' worth of electricity every year to their neighbours. This is consistent with Ethiopia's larger economic diplomacy objectives. The project also hopes to reduce flooding, enhance agricultural irrigation capability, and generate a large number of job opportunities. It is much anticipated that Africa's largest hydroelectric dam would be completed and put into service.

The largest hydroelectric dam in Africa and a representation of Ethiopian ambition, it also serves as a source of conflict in the region. Especially with Sudan and Egypt, which are downstream. For these countries, the Nile serves as a lifeline. Based on this, building the dam has been key to resolving a challenging water-sharing conundrum. On the one hand, Egypt's domestic and agricultural needs have historically been entirely dependent on the waters of the Nile. The dam is seen as an existential danger to the nation's water security. Sudan, on the other hand, has doubts regarding the dam's construction. Though it stands to gain from controlled flooding and inexpensive power, it is nevertheless apprehensive about the dam's functionality and potential safety risks. Because the Nile is an essential resource for Egypt and Sudan, damming it is a difficult topic for them.

The negotiations between Ethiopia, Egypt, and Sudan have reached a critical point as the building of the largest hydroelectric dam in Africa draws closer to completion. Despite strong diplomatic efforts, the impasse continued in the round of negotiations that was held in Cairo on October 23, 2023. As of right now, there's no clear understanding or agreement on how the dam will operate. The parties have been pushed to reach a peaceful settlement by the international community, which includes the US and the African Union. But as of early 2024, there hasn't been a permanent agreement. Countries downstream want guarantees that the operation of the dam won't jeopardize their access to water. The greatest hydroelectric dam in Africa is more than just a structure; it represents the continent's aspirations for infrastructure. Furthermore, it is a test of water cooperation and international diplomacy. For Ethiopia and its neighbours, its completion may herald a new era of economic integration and energy independence.

Source : www.blacknz.com
Posted On: 5/3/2024 12:00:00 AM

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