Egypt Watch

Ethiopia is close to producing electricity from the Renaissance Dam

Ethiopia’s newspaper Capital said that the work on the Renaissance Dam has been completed in preparation for the start of testing the production of energy in the coming days.

The newspaper quoted sources as saying that the dam is expected to generate 700 megawatts at a pre-production stage.

Officials from the Ministry of Water and Energy have claimed that the dam will cover 20 per cent of Ethiopia’s needs when it first starts producing electricity. Seleshi Bekele, chief dam negotiator and adviser in the Ethiopian Prime Minister’s office, said in November that the overall progress on the construction of the dam was 82 per cent.

Western sources had revealed a visit by the American envoy to the Horn of Africa, Jeffrey Feltman, to the Egyptian capital, Cairo, at the end of January. Egypt wishes to urge the US administration to play a decisive role after receiving information related to the Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s confirmation of his government’s intention to complete the second filling of the dam, in addition to initiating the third stage of filling. Egypt suffers from a severe shortage of water and these filling operations will make the situation more difficult, according to experts.

The Ethiopian Council of Ministers held its first session this year at the dam site on Wednesday to assess the past 100 days for all ministries and major institutions, and to discuss the challenges of the economy considering the war that Ethiopia is fighting against the Tigray Liberation Front in the north.

The Ethiopian Minister of Planning and Development, Fitsum Assefa, spoke during the meeting about the economy and its relationship to the challenges facing Ethiopia. She said that despite the difficult situation in the country and the many challenges due to the war in the north, the macroeconomic sector has made good progress, with financial revenues of more than $800 million through exports.