Greetings from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. I am a regular reader of articles posted on your website. I really appreciate your efforts to provide a forum for alternative views and contribute to informing the public about current realities in the country. The main stream media is wholly focused on building Abiy's image and his quest for publicity leaving aside all the critical issues the country faces at the moment. It is unfortunate we, the silent majority, are simply acting a sitting duck while the left and right actors are pulling the country apart.
Regarding the GERD negotiation, I wanted to share with you one point that I feel is not being addressed by our negotiating team.. I don't think we are catching the bull by its horns.
Ethiopia's electricity development 25 years (2012-2037) master plan indicates that four power plants upstream of the GERD dam are critical for meeting Ethiopia's energy demands and its power export aspirations. Beko Abo, Karadobi, Upper Mandaya and Lower Dedessa hydro power plants must be connected to the national grid in the very near future ( I think by 2023) in order to meet the demand of the energy hungry economy (industrialization, irrigation farming, transport etc.).
The GTP2 (Growth and transformation plan) performance in energy infrastructure development is very poor. The plan was to harness about 17000MW but performance todate is almost none. There are a few solar power plants in the pipeline but all are delayed. Hence, very soon energy deficiency and power cuts are imminent, not even to mention export of power to Kenya and beyond.
It appears the authorities have lost their compasses as far as energy development is concerned. Therefore, Ethiopia should bring to the negotiation table its right to harness the upstream power plants in the near future. Our negotiation should not be limited to the GERD only. The same issues being raised today such as water levels in Aswan, filling periods, evaporation losses etc will resurface.
We should not bow down to today's pressures and restrict the opportunities of our future generations. Egypt must come to terms with the current realities. There is no moral or legal ground for us to starve to death and feed Egypt or even worse for Egypt to sell water to neighbors across the Sinai. The current government has already conceded defeat by bringing in the USA and the World Bank as "observers" to the negotiations.
(From Addis Ababa, Jan 10,2020)