Most of the recommendations made by the International Panel of Experts (PoE) for the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) have been implemented, the Ministry of Water, Irrigation and Energy has said. The Minister, Alemayehu Tegenu, made the statement at a consultative workshop on Tuesday December 24, to announce the progress in implementing the recommendations.
One of the goals of the workshop was to gather input for the ongoing tripartite ministerial consultation to put in place a follow up mechanism to implement the PoE’s recommendations.
Alemayehu told the participants that the PoE’s recommendations have already been acted on by Ethiopiawhile implementing the remaining action plan will be completed shortly.
Due to lack of accurate information, the downstream countries, Egypt and Sudan, had concerns over GERD, Alemayehu said. Hence, a ten-member international panel of experts, made up of two Ethiopians, two Egyptians, two Sudanese and four nonaligned professionals, was set up to address those concerns.
Following a year-long assessment, the panel submitted its final report, including recommendations, to the three governments in May 2013, Alemayehu said.
Ethiopia and Sudan endorsed the report and agreed to jointly implement the recommendations whereas Egypt refused to do so.
Later in June, following a meeting in Addis Ababa, the foreign ministers of Ethiopia and Egypt announced that they had reached an agreement to collaborate in implementing the recommendations from the PoE.
Following a series of meetings in November and early December in Khartoum, Sudan, the three countries generally agreed on a follow up mechanism to complete the plan that the PoE suggested, Alemayehu said.
They are scheduled to meet in January 2014 in Khartoum to discuss pending issues.
The workshop participants urged Ethiopian universities to work together with international research institutions to publicize the mutual benefits of GERD to the international community.
They also called on the mass media in the country to lobby for increased domestic and foreign support by reporting the positive impacts of the dam.