Seminar about “The Developments in the situation of Nile Water and the Ethiopian Dam
On the 23rd of August 2023, the council invited Ambassador Dr. Mohammed Hegazi, member of the board of directors and the coordinator of the permanent committee of water resources and climate change in the council, to an organized seminar by the council. In this seminar, he presented “The Developments in the situation of Nile Water and the Renaissance Dam”. This seminar came after the beginning of the negotiation process between Egypt and Ethiopia on 20th of August 2023, based on the outcomes of the summit that is held between President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi and the Ethiopian Prime Minister on 13th of July 2023, on the sidelines of the Egyptian initiative of the neighboring countries of Sudan.
Participated in the seminar Ambassadors: Mohamed Al Oraby the chairman of the board, Ezzat Saad director of the council, Youssef Al Sharkawy, Ali Al Hefny, Salah Halima, Abdelmoneam Omar, Ibrahim Al Showemy, and Dr. Sadek Abdelaal, Advisor Hazem Youssef, and Mr. Ahmed Abo Shady.
Amb. Hegazi asserted that the launch of negotiation doesn’t mean stopping the fourth filling of the dam which is done by the Ethiopian government. He pointed out that the characteristics of the new round of negotiations is reaching a limited point, as we can’t do anything after the fourth filling of the dam.
In the fourth filling of the dam, about 44 billion cubic meters will be stored at the end of this period, this is along with confirmation that “the dam will protect itself by itself”. By this way, the fourth filling of the dam will have an impact on Egyptian National Security.
Therefore, we must work on the investment of different soft powers, and to use the Egyptian diplomacy, in addition to having a diplomatic massages that encourage other countries, organizations, and concerned agencies to interfere in this sensitive time to support Egypt in its rights. Also, at this stage, it’s important to speak to the World Bank and Security Council to engage in the ongoing negotiation process, as the negotiations reached a limited point.
Amb/ Hegazi pointed out that the statement of the Ethiopian Prime Minister and the launch of negotiations at this time, could be due to the international pressure on Ethiopia. This pressure could be from Washington which hosted the negotiation rounds and contributed to preparing the final draft that Ethiopia refused to sign. Also, this round of negotiations could be “analgesic” to the downstream countries until the end of the fourth filling of the dam.
The reason for the timing of negotiations could be also the Ethiopian will to establish other dam projects upstream, and these projects require huge fund and approval of both countries Egypt and Sudan. As the fund for the renaissance dam was difficult, and there was a refuse from the World Bank to fund the dam. Hence, Addis Ababa is trying to not repeat the same experience with the other dams, in order to be able to have an international fund for these dams. The strongest evidence for this justification is Aby Ahmed’s meeting with the chief of the World Bank after his visit to Egypt in July 2023.