Washington Mediates A Deadlock in Building One of Africa’s Largest Hydro Plants

The US will host the foreign ministers of Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan, as well as the president of the World Bank Group, David Malpass,  in Washington on Wednesday for a discussion about a giant hydropower dam project on the Nile River. The controversial project in Ethiopia’s section of the river has been the focus of an escalating feud between Ethiopia and Egypt over scarce water resources. Cairo has long-sought external help to mediate the conflict. Addis Ababa wants to keep the negotiations on a tripartite level and has previously rejected outside mediation. Neighboring Sudan, which has less at stake in the conflict, has confirmed that it will attend. Under the 1959 Nile Waters Agreement between Egypt and Sudan, Egypt can take up to 55.5 billion cubic meters of water from the Nile each year, and Sudan can take up to 18.5 billion. The agreement was reached shortly before Egypt began constructing its own megadam, the Aswan High Dam.


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