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  • Ethiopia to celebrate 6th anniversary of GERD construction commencement

    Addis Ababa, February 25, 2017 (FBC) –Following the upgrading of generators, the installed hydropower generation capacity of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) has been increased to 6,450MW.

    Initially, the dam was designed to generate 5,250MW. However, due to the upgrading made on the power plant, its generation capacity has been raised from 5,250 MW to 6,000 MW.

    But six years later, the total installed generation capacity of the dam has been increased by additional 450MW as a result of the improvement made on generators to boost the capacity of the power plant.

    Following the upgrading made twice, the electricity generation capacity of the dam has been increased by a total of 1,200 MW, which is equivalent to the power generated from Tekeze, Beles and Gibe-II hydropower plants.

    Ethiopia is preparing to celebrate the 6th anniversary of the commencement of the construction of the dam with various fund raising programs.

    In a press conference he gave here today in connection with the anniversary, Minister of Communication and Information Technology, Dr Debretsion Gebremichael, announced a 56 percent completion of the dam.

    According to the Minister, works are also nearing completion to enable the dam to generate 750MW in advance.

    “Construction of power receiver and transmission stations as well as installation of power transmission lines have been fully completed. The only thing left is fixing the two turbines that generate 375MW each,” he said.

    The next step is enabling the dam to hold water, he said, indicating the final preparation being made by the government to facilitate ways in which the filling of the dam’s reservoir will take place.

    “We are preparing to discuss with the governments of Sudan and Egypt,” he said, reiterating that “the dam doesn't cause any significant harm on the lower riparian countries.”

    The construction of the dam is being funded by the people and government of Ethiopia.

    According to Debretsion, the people of Ethiopia have continued their support to the construction of the dam through environmental conservation activities and the purchase of dam bonds.

    He said the people have so far contributed 9.4 billion birr for the dam.

    Office of the National Council for the Coordination of Public Participation on the Construction of the Dam recently said various fund raising programs will be carried out in connection with the 6th anniversary of the dam.

    The office planned to collect 1.8 billion birr from the fund raising programs.

    The Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) is being built in Benishangul Gumuz regional state, approximately 500 km northwest of the capital Addis Ababa.

     At the end of the works, GERD will be the largest dam in Africa.

    Source: FBC

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  • Diaspora Raises Over U.S.$2 Million GERD Support

    The Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced that the Ethiopian Diaspora Community in different parts of the world raised 2,101,000 USD to back the construction of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD).

    In a press briefing Friday, Ministry Spokesperson Tewolde Mulgeta said the contribution was made during the last six months in the form of bond purchases, donation and other funding mechanisms.

    Tewolde added that the ministry met 199 times over the last six months with the diaspora community through various forums. Following this, the Diaspora made active participation in the fund raising and other programs including ICT, health and educational support, according to the Spokesperson.

    For its part, the ministry has made supports to 8,400 people in providing legal protection, investment tips as well as settling salary cases, Tewolde noted.

    Reports indicate that Ethiopia has over three million diaspora in different parts of the globe, it was learnt.

    Source: the Ethiopian herald

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  • Ethiopia's bubble is not bursting - CNN

    (CNN) - After a decade of rapid growth, Ethiopia's bubble is not bursting.

    Dubbed the 'African Lion' by economists, Ethiopia is the home of booming industry, new infrastructure, and showpiece summits. It has become a powerful force in the region and beyond.

    To maintain this golden age, the East African state is pressing ahead with ambitious development plans, and renewable energy is core to the mission.

    Ethiopia was among the most daring signatories to the Paris Agreement on climate change, committing to cut carbon emissions by 64% by 2030. The government has ploughed billions of dollars into hydropower megaprojects such as the Grand Renaissance Dam -- which will be the largest dam in Africa -- and the freshly-inaugurated Gibe III Dam.

    The next target is to become the wind power capital of Africa.

    The turbine of Ashegoda wind farm in Northern Ethiopia, which was the largest wind farm in sub-Saharan Africa when it was inaugurated in 2013. The $300 million facility represents a major step forward in Ethiopia's plans to become a renewable energy powerhouse.

    Breezing ahead

    Ethiopia inaugurated one of the continent's largest wind farms in 2013 -- the $290 million, 120-megawatt (MW) Ashedoga plant. This was followed by the even larger 153 MW Adama II facility in 2015.

    But wind accounted for just 324 MW of Ethiopia's total output of 4,180 MW at the end of 2015, with the vast majority coming from hydropower.

    This picture is set to change with the government's second "Growth and Transformation Plan," which will see total output pass 17,000 MW by 2020, and a vastly increased share from the air.

    The government has plans for at least five further wind farms, and potentially many more, aiming to deliver up to 5,200 megawatts from wind power within four years. The cost is officially calculated at $3.1 billion, although other estimates place it over $6 billion.

    "We are conducting research and studying the data to see the number of plants we can connect (to the National Grid)," says Misikir Negash, head of communications for the Ethiopian Electric Power company. "It is important to have different energy sources for a reliable system. Wind is a big focus and we need it."

    Read more at CNN


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  • Nile Politics: Where does Eritrea fit?

    In his recent visit to Egypt, Isaias was received at the airport in Cairo by the president of the council of ministers and by the minister of irrigation. The presence of the irrigation minister is significant since Egypt’s irrigation is synonymous to the Nile. If the visit was expected to be provocative, it achieved more than that. The fact that of all the ministers Egypt would send the irrigation minister to receive Isaias is possibly a calculated gesture given the current frustrated Egyptian agitation against the GERD. The visit must have appeared as a threat to Ethiopia even if it was not intended to be so.

    That incident would implicate Eritrea as a suspect simply because the policy of Isaias Afwerki and his government has always been focused on finding a way to entangle Eritrea in conflicts that has no dividend for the Eritrean people.

    For years, the Eritrean regime has been helplessly cajoling one side or the other to immerse itself in the Yemeni crisis. Finally, with a mediation by Sudan’s AlBashir, who plunged into the Yemeni fray earlier, Isaias attempted to be part of the Saudi led alliance in Yemen in a very humiliating manner and failed. Yet, he never gave up, but continued to cajole the UAE at the expense of Qatar, his only loyal friend in the region.


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  • It is pointless not to acknowledge Ethiopia's dam: Egypt minister

    Egypt's foreign affairs minister said Tuesday that the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam has become a reality and that it is "pointless to bury our heads in the sand by not acknowledging a tangible physical reality."

    File photo: Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry attends a press conference on January 13, 2016 in Berlin (AFP)

    Minister Sameh Shoukry, speaking on the Egyptian El-Hayat TV channel Tuesday night, stated that Egypt is not dealing with the dam "on the basis of suspicion, doubt and exaggerated risks."

    Egypt has longed maintained that the dam – currently under construction on the Blue Nile in Ethiopia's highlands –would affect its supply of Nile water.

    However, he did emphasise that "there are definitely clear risks [to Egypt], and we are discussing them with our Ethiopian and Sudanese partners" to reach an agreement on how to deal with any harm to Egypt.

    The minister did not elaborate on the nature of these risks.

    Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia are currently conducting impact studies on the dam.


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