Ethiopia’s new dam gets a Council and new name

Ethiopia’s new dam on Nile, so far called “Grand Millennium Nile Dam Project’”, is renamed “Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam Project” by the decision of the Council of Ministers. The Council approved the new name on Friday when it issued a regulation for the establishment of ‘a National Council in charge of coordinating public participation for construction’ of the new dam, according to the news from Ethiopian News Agency.

The new Council is will be entrusted with coordinating Ethiopians at home and abroad. It is also mandated to promote the “Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam Project”, in neighboring countries particularly Egypt and Sudan.

It appears the Council will be a large consultative forum in the style of the ‘Ethiopian Millennium Festivity Council’. As it is to consist personalities to be drawn from ‘federal and regional government institutions as well as different public organizations, among others,’ while an Executive Committee and a Secretariat will be responsible for its operational activities.

The Council will be directly responsible to the Prime Minister who will assign its Presidency and executive members.

In a related development, the Ministry of Water and Energy (MWE) launched on Friday ‘a Multi-stakeholders Forum’ on Benefits and Costs of Cooperation’.

The forum was addressed by State Minister of MWE, Kebede Gerba, who said ‘the key objectives of the forum are update stockholders on the current programs of NBD, Nile River Basin cooperation process, the International strengthening Program (ISP) and developments in Easter Nile Subsidiary Action Program (ENSAP).’

The news doesn’t indicate the specific composition of the participants, nor the length of the forum. However, it states that ‘dialogue on the actual and potential positive impact of the Sub-Regional Power Interconnection and Watershed Management Projects on local communities’ is among the objectives of the forum.

Daniel Berhane

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