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The Post-2011 Round: The New Chapter of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam and the Shadow of the Future

  • Mina Michel Samaan
Chapter

Abstract

January 2011 represents a dramatic turning point that has had profound effects on the Nile hydropolitics. This period witnessed the occurrence of two historic events, which reshaped the domestic challenges in Sudan and Egypt, influencing the balance of interests and capabilities in the Eastern Nile Basin. These are the voting of the Southern Sudanese in favor of separation in January 9, and the spark of the Egyptian Revolution in January 25. In April 2011, Ethiopia initiated unilaterally the construction of the GERD with a huge size, several times larger than the one indicated in previous plans and prefeasibility studies. Shortly thereafter, negotiations between Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan began to investigate and mitigate the negative impacts of the dam on downstream communities, though in parallel, not in prior, to construction. Due to its massive benefits on the Sudanese agricultural and energy sectors, Khartoum has been supporting the GERD construction despite Egypt’s grave concerns about the project’s potential risks downstream. However, the successive transformations that took place in Egypt during the following years resulted in the adoption of different, even contradictory, strategies in managing the GERD issue. Consequently, the round has comprised different scenes of cooperation and contention, from the establishment of joint committees to the exchange of threats. Taking into consideration climate change uncertainties, rapid population growth, and increasing water, energy and food needs, the shadow of the future reflects the possibility of both promoting further cooperation and provoking further contention in the basin.

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mina Michel Samaan
    • 1
  1. 1.Braunschweig University of TechnologyBraunschweigGermany

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