Video Duration 25 minutes 20 seconds
From: Inside Story

What is behind the dispute over Africa’s largest dam project?

Ethiopia, Egypt and Sudan tussle over the filling of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam on the Blue Nile.

For thousands of years, the Nile has been the backbone of civilisations and a source of conflict.

The latest dispute is over the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, the largest hydroelectric dam project in Africa.

Ethiopia’s government says its $4bn project on the Blue Nile will provide power to its more than 100 million citizens and create huge opportunities for its economy.

It wants to start filling the dam’s reservoir in July when its rainy season begins.

But Sudan and Egypt downstream first want a legally-binding agreement on how long it will take to fill the dam, and the way it will be operated. The African Union is mediating and Ethiopia’s government says the parties could finalise an agreement within two to three weeks.

Can they find a way to bridge their differences?

Presenter: Imran Khan


Gedion Asfaw – head of the technical committee of the Ethiopian Negotiating Delegation

Osman El-Tom – former Sudanese minister of water resources and irrigation

Mac Sharkawy – political writer and researcher on Egyptian Affairs