Title

Sharing the Nile: The Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam

Presenter Information

Matthew Baldwin

Document Type

Oral Presentation

Location

SURC 301

Start Date

21-5-2015

End Date

21-5-2015

Keywords

Nile River, Water Politics, Ethiopia

Abstract

With construction of Africa's largest hydroelectric power station, the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), beginning in 2011 and slated for completion in 2017, Ethiopia has catapulted itself to a position of power in the Blue Nile Basin. Located forty-five kilometers from Sudan's border, the dam is to be the largest hydroelectric power station throughout all of Africa, eclipsing Egypt's Aswan Dam with more than twice the electricity output which will be delivered throughout Ethiopia and sold to neighboring countries. However, the construction of the GERD represents a significant departure from past water sharing agreements between states in the Blue Nile Basin, which have traditionally heavily favored Egypt. Remnants of British and Italian colonialism and regional power dynamics have long stymied Ethiopia's use of the Nile. However, within the last decade, intergovernmental organizations and shifting power dynamics of the region have paved the way for Ethiopia's rise to being a dominant power along the Nile, a reshaping of how resources can be managed, and enabled development of the GERD.

Faculty Mentor(s)

Anne Cubilié

Department/Program

Political Science

Additional Mentoring Department

Douglas Honors College

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May 21st, 3:00 PM May 21st, 3:20 PM

Sharing the Nile: The Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam

SURC 301

With construction of Africa's largest hydroelectric power station, the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), beginning in 2011 and slated for completion in 2017, Ethiopia has catapulted itself to a position of power in the Blue Nile Basin. Located forty-five kilometers from Sudan's border, the dam is to be the largest hydroelectric power station throughout all of Africa, eclipsing Egypt's Aswan Dam with more than twice the electricity output which will be delivered throughout Ethiopia and sold to neighboring countries. However, the construction of the GERD represents a significant departure from past water sharing agreements between states in the Blue Nile Basin, which have traditionally heavily favored Egypt. Remnants of British and Italian colonialism and regional power dynamics have long stymied Ethiopia's use of the Nile. However, within the last decade, intergovernmental organizations and shifting power dynamics of the region have paved the way for Ethiopia's rise to being a dominant power along the Nile, a reshaping of how resources can be managed, and enabled development of the GERD.