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  • Egypt, Ethiopia, Sudan sign final contracts on Nile dam studies

    (Reuters) – Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia commissioned studies into the environmental and economic impact of a $4 billion dam on the Nile that Addis Ababa aims to make the centerpiece of its bid to become Africa’s biggest power exporter.

    The 6,000-megawatt Grand Renaissance Dam, situated close to Ethiopia’s border with Sudan and being built by Italy’s largest construction firm Salini Impregilo SpA, is due for completion next year.

    It has become a bone of contention between Ethiopia and Egypt, downstream from the dam and relying almost exclusively on the Nile for agricultural, industrial and domestic water use.

    Addis Ababa has complained Cairo has pressured international donors and lenders to withhold funding for the project, while Egypt has sought assurances the dam will not significantly cut the flow of water to its rapidly growing population.

    Egyptian state news agency MENA said the two countries plus Sudan signed contracts on Tuesday tasking two French firms, BRL and Artelia, with conducting studies into the dam’s impact.

    Gilles Rocquelain, BRL Director General, said the studies would start in late 2016 and take 11 months.

    The leaders of the three countries signed a co-operation deal in Khartoum last year to pave the way for a joint approach to regional water supplies.

    In all, Ethiopia plans to spend some $12 billion on harnessing its rivers for hydro power production in the next two decades.

    Source: Reuters

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  • Egypt, Sudan & Ethiopia to sign dam impact studies contract this week

    Egypt, Sudan, and Ethiopia are set to sign the contracts with two foreign consultancy firms hired to study the impact of Ethiopia’s Grand Renaissance Dam (GERD) on downriver countries on 19-20 Sept in Khartoum, Egypt's irrigation ministry spokesman announced Saturday.

    In statements to the state-owned MENA news agency, ministry spokesman Waleed Haqiqi said that the irrigation ministers of the three countries would sign the contracts in Sudan during the 12th meeting of the trilateral committee.

    The newly announced dates for signing the contracts comes following a series of delays.

    The delays were partly caused by "outstanding issues between the consultancy firms [BRL and Artelia] which are conducting the technical studies and the legal firm wording the contracts,” Egypt’s irrigation ministry has previously said.

    The postponment also resulted from delays by Khartoum in granting entry visas to Sudan for firms' experts, according to the Egyptian ministry.

    In March 2015, Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan signed a trilateral declaration of principles that guarantees that all parties will take steps to ensure the Grand Ethiopian Dam would not harm the interests of any of the parties concerned.

    Cairo previously expressed concerns that Ethiopia’s $4.2 billion dam could affect its historical share of Nile water, but has recently said it is sure the construction of the dam would not negatively impact Egypt.

    Addis Ababa has maintained that the dam project, which Ethiopia needs to generate electicity, would not affect harm downstream countries.

    Source: Ahram Online

    Amharic video: Ethiopia Makes Progress on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam Project

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  • Sudan’s FM says differences on Ethiopia’s Renaissance dam settled – Sudan Tribune

    August 27, 2016 (KHARTOUM) - Sudan’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Ibrahim Ghandour has said differences that existed among Sudan, Ethiopia and Egypt on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) have completely been settled. Read more at sudantribune.com


    Photograph: Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukri (L), Sudanese Foreign Minister Ibrahim Ghandour (C) and Ethiopian Foreign Minister Tedros Adhanom (R) pose after reaching an agreement on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam in the Sudanese capital Khartoum on 29 December 2015 (Ebrahim Hamid/AFP/Getty)

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  • What's the real size of Africa?

    countries that fit into Africa

    On a typical world map, Canada is a vast nation.

    But, in reality, three Canadas would comfortably fit inside Africa.

    Our world map is wildly misleading.

    It's all down to the European cartographer Geert de Kremer, better known as Mercator, and his 16th century map projection.

    While a convenient way to chart the world, the map distorts the true size of countries.

    A map made by Europe for Europe

    On the Mercator map, Africa -- sitting on the equator, reasonably undistorted -- is left looking much smaller than it really is.

    But Canada, Russia, the United States and Europe are greatly enlarged.

    The distortion is largest near the poles: Greenland, which looks about the same size as the whole of Africa on the Mercator, is a classic example. In truth, it is no bigger than the Democratic Republic of Congo.

    That European and North American countries are enlarged is no accident. This system provided more space for Western cartographers to mark towns, cities, roads etc in their part of the world, Kraak says.

    "If you would take a map projection with equal areas then there is almost no space on the map to display all [these details]."

    There was, of course, much to map in Africa, too, but that mattered less to the cartographers up north, he adds.

    Read more at CNN

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