Striving for a win-win solution
Tesfaye Lemma 07-18-17
Many people believe Ethiopia and Egypt should work closely for a win-win solution, which is the only option that they have at this point of time. In fact, these two countries have to utilize wisely their shared resource. In this regard, the construction of the Ethiopian Grand Renaissance Dam, by no means, could be a reason for their dispute for it will be one of the bonds to integrate the region economically including Ethiopia and Egypt.
It is said so many times that the dam has no significant impact to downstream countries. However, there irregularities are sometimes observed in the cooperation of the two governments. As witnessed by different analysts, cooperation will be the only and the best solution for the two countries. In this case, both countries need to be so loyal for such mutual cooperating.
They should be governed by a win-win solution because the Nile Basin is huge enough to rally round all basin countries in their poverty alleviation with proper water management. Contrary to the reality on the ground, still there are some irregularities in their relations. But there is misunderstanding concerning the very objective of the construction of the dam.
In the first instance, Ethiopia has been successfully building such a huge project on the Nile River that could play a significant role in the country’s economy. In a simple equation this will lead the country to be economically strong and capable of easily managing other similar projects.
Another important concern is the fact the diplomatic relation between Ethiopia and other Nile Basin countries has come to be stronger and stronger since the past two decades. While Egypt has been losing its acceptance among Nile Basin countries due to its stand on water monopoly, Ethiopia has been gaining supremacy in its acceptance among all basin countries.
Its persuasive power has been rising from time to time in the African Union and among the Nile Basin countries due to its mutual understanding and cooperation for a win-win solution. That is why the upper riparian states have launched the Cooperative Framework Agreement in a bid to ensure an equitable utilization of water among riparian states since May 2010. That agreement, however, is denied by Egypt and other two countries.
The country’s capability of financing such a huge project by itself has avoided the historic barrier to develop its project on the Nile River. It might compel Egypt to change its tactics in approaching developed countries that it attempted to convince them to persuade Ethiopia to stop its construction at the first attempt and to reduce the size of the dam at the second instance. However, all have no acceptance on the Ethiopian side as it believes that the project will never inflict any harm on Egypt.
Although Egypt has a mercurial position on the construction of the dam, Sudanese has the same position with Ethiopia. The Sudan has full understanding about the benefits of the dam to downstream countries.
The fact that the dam could meaningfully reduce the amount of water evaporation in addition to regulating constant amount of water throughout the year; thereby, minimizing the flood disasters the two countries have been facing for years. It is also believed that the construction of the dam will reduce the amount of silt that filled the dams in downstream countries.
The Sudan has this understanding and as a result, it has been cooperating with Ethiopia in the construction of the dam. It realized that the completion of the dam the aforementioned problems could be solved.
The dam really will bring other additional opportunities as well in both downstream countries. The Sudan and Egypt will get the chance to buy cheap electricity so that they could develop their industry.
In addition to this, Ethiopia has no intention to use this dam for irrigation purposes in order to avoid any Impact on the water flow. Egyptians also need to look inward for loyal cooperation. It is only a genuine and honest cooperation for a win-win solution.
Since the beginning of the launch of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, the Ethiopian government has made vivid that the project will never inflict any harm on the downstream countries: the Sudan and Egypt. Rather, it will offer a number of benefits not only to Ethiopia but also to all countries in the region including Egypt and the Sudan. This first instance stand is still there.
It repeatedly elaborated that the downstream countries have to cooperate with Ethiopia for such development efforts. If the countries along the Nile river are to alleviate poverty and ensure food self reliance, it is mandatory to utilize their natural resource, In this regard, Ethiopia has to use the Nile water for its development. That is why the country launched that huge project. And it continued its diplomatic approach to let others know about its intention for a win-win solution.