An international panel of experts that is investigating the study of the efficacy of Ethiopia’s massive 6000MW Grand Renaissance Dam (GRD) is set to release its preliminary findings in May.
The panel of experts is composed of representatives from the lower stream countries of Sudan and Egypt, in addition to Ethiopia, as well as four experts from other countries.
The announcement was made at the sidelines of a meeting between officials of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) and graduate members of the Egyptian Foreign Service institute.
Dr. Tedros Adhanom, Foreign Minister of Ethiopia, informed Capital that the panel of experts are expected to present their findings on the impact of GRD, and possible ways to mitigate its potential impact on lower stream countries.
However, he categorically stated that the construction of the dam is not up for discussion, regardless of the impact-assessment report’s findings.
The FM reserved comment, when it came to whether the findings of the report could be binding to parties, saying that discussions will be held to reach a common ground in the future findings of the report.
“Ethiopia and Egypt are trying to create a relationship based on a win-win situation,” said Tedros, adding that work is being done to base diplomatic relations on mutual trust and transparency.
Ethiopian Public Diplomacy team visit to Egypt
Tedros also said the much touted trip by Ethiopians, composed of representatives from various Universities in Ethiopia, Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) and media professionals hasn’t been set.
The trip is in response to a previous tour made by various representatives from Egypt to Ethiopia.
He also said there are plans in the works for an official visit by him to Egypt, although the date was unspecified, and a decision hasn’t also been made on whether the visit will be made in conjunction with the public diplomacy team or not.
On a related development, the head of the Egyptian delegation, Mohammed Al Badria, Director of the Egyptian Diplomatic Studies Institute, offered the diplomatic academy of Ethiopia technical assistance in areas of logistics, drafting of curriculum and in other spheres.
They also invited a 40-member strong Ethiopian diplomatic attaché team to visit Egypt for a two-week training program to gain experience.
Nebiyu Tedla, Minister Counsellor for the office of the spokesperson at MoFA, said that they would conduct an assessment, and based on that, will respond to the offer accordingly.
While the Ethiopian diplomatic academy attached to the Ethiopian civil service university is only two months old, the Egyptian equivalent has been in existence since 1968.
The present delegation of 32 is the 45th batch of graduates of the Egyptian Foreign Service institute. The delegation reportedly also visited the Addis Ababa University (AAU), the Institute for Ethiopian Studies (IES), and will also visit the city of Bahir Dar, where they’re expected to stop over at the university and the origin of the Blue Nile as well.