Chapter

Financing the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam

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Abstract

The Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) is estimated to cost close to 5 billion US dollars, about 7% of the of the 2016 Ethiopian gross national product. The lack of international finance for projects on the Blue Nile River have had long been alleged to Egypt’s persistent campaign to maintain presumed hegemony on the Nile water share. Ethiopia is forced to finance the GERD with crowd funding through internal fund raising in the form of selling bond and persuading employees to contribute a portion of their incomes. Despite the domestic success in fund raising, the contribution of Ethiopians and Ethiopian descent living abroad was met with scepticism due to the political environment in Ethiopia. The Chinese government is providing significant amount of international finance to the hydropower infrastructure. Gulf States were also claimed to contribute to the construction of the Dam along the Middle East political line with respect to their relationship with Egypt. Opposition to the government is intertwined with opposition to the fund raising for the dam. The dam is completed over 70% by the end of 2017 and strain of cash is being reported. The successful completion of GERD without explicit support from western financial institutions will have a significant impact on the perception and awareness of Nile water development. The parallels between the planning, construction and financing of High Aswan dam and GERD are stark reminders of critical role of international community to promote co-operation and avoid unintended and lasting ripples on the socio-economic and political landscape of the region.

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Article
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Article
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Technical Report
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Chapter
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Chapter
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Chapter
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Chapter
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Article
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In the pursuit of economic development, Ethiopia has prioritized renewable energy production, emphasizing development of its hydropower potential. As part of this strategy, it is presently constructing the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) on the Blue Nile River, ignoring opposition from the downstream Egypt. In this paper, we use the seven commonly shared strategic priorities prescribed by the World Commission on Dams (WCD) to evaluate the sustainability standard and geopolitical significance of the GERD project.
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