Fair Use of GERD by Ethiopia Reasonable: Fairfax Africa Fund Global Chairman

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ENA January 16/2020 It is reasonable for Ethiopia to build a domestically financed Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) and fairly use the multi-billion hydro electric dam at the Nile River without imposing significant harm on riparian countries, as it originates from Ethiopia, Zemedeneh Negatu, Global Chairman of Fairfax Africa Fund said. 

In an interview with CNBC Africa, the chairman stated that Ethiopia has the right to fully utilize GERD to improve the lives of all its citizens.

“If you look at electricity access between Egypt and Ethiopia, 100 percent Egyptians have access to electricity today; only 44 percent of Ethiopians have access to electricity, even though the Nile River originates from Ethiopia,” Zemedeneh noted.

The economic difference between Ethiopia and Egypt is huge, he added.

“Ethiopia is trying to uplift 112 million people while it is about 100 million for Egypt. Gross Domestic Product per capita in Egypt is 3,000 USD while it is about 1,000 in Ethiopia. So, why is Ethiopia subsidizing an economy three times greater of it? ” the chairman asked in earnest.

According to Zemedeneh, the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam will have economic benefit to the region beyond Ethiopia.

“The economic benefits of the dam for Ethiopia and beyond for the region should be quantified. The magnitude is very significant,” he pointed out.

In East Africa, for example “Kenya, Rwanda, Sudan, and even Egypt could see for electricity from the dam in the future.”