EAPP Expects GERD to Create Sense of Cooperation, Foster Connectivity in Region

204

Addis Ababa July 25/2020 (ENA) The Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) is expected to create “a sense of cooperation among the power pool countries and a fertile ground for further connectivity in the region,” according to Eastern Africa Power Pool (EAPP).

In an exclusive interview with ENA, EAPP Secretary-General Lebbi M. Changullah said GERD, the largest hydropower plant in the region, is expected to play a significant role for a better integration of renewable energy technologies to the power pool.

“EAPP strongly believes that the hydropower plant will facilitate both electricity access and price reduction. Its impact will also remain to be significant due to its order of magnitude. The implementation of these types of infrastructure without a doubt will take the region’s effort for economic integration to a higher level,” he elaborated.

Speaking about the recent development in the negotiation between Ethiopia, Sudan and Egypt , he said the Eastern Africa Power Pool (EAPP) Secretariat are keenly following the ongoing negotiations and commended the Government of Ethiopia on the manner it handled the case.

EAPP, which has 11 member countries, is a regional institution established to coordinate cross-border power and grid interconnection among the nations of eastern Africa region.  

“I am sure that all member countries of EAPP will carefully follow the negotiations on the GERD as success in that promises a major advantage in the power system integration process in the whole of Eastern African region and the continent at large. Member countries are expected to contribute through peer influence to foster a win-win settlement of the dispute over the GERD and thereby contributing to enhanced connectivity in the region,” he noted.

As the three countries are members of the power pool, Changullah said EAPP will get involved in the scheduling of generation from the GERD through its operation committee as this power plant will play a major role in a large part of the region from Egypt to South Africa once full interconnectivity is realized.

He pointed out that “as long as the GERD benefits the whole region what’s remaining is to work and agree on a mechanism to ensure avoidance of significant harm to any of the negotiating parties and this is doable if there is goodwill and sprit of cooperative development.”

Applauding the leadership of the three countries, the secretary-general said they have already embarked on that course looking at the recent developments mediated by the African Union.

He stressed that Ethiopia, Sudan and Egypt are required to focus on “the bigger picture to resolve their differences.”

According to Changullah, the dam is highly aligned to one of the four pillars of the strategic plan of EAPP, which is regional infrastructure development.

Acknowledging GERD’s contribution to member countries, the countries should play constructive and active role in bringing the ongoing negotiation between the three countries to a successful conclusion, he further observed.

It is to be recalled that the first-year filling of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) was completed early this week but negotiations on other remaining issues are expected to continue.