KINSHASA: The foreign ministers of Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan began talks on Atlas Ababa’s Nile Giant Dam in Kinshasa on Monday.
The controversy over Grand Ethiopia’s Renaissance Dam (GERD), built across the Nile, has been raging for almost a decade. The President of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Felix Sheskadi, who became President of the African Union in February, called on the Foreign Ministers to make a “fresh start”.
“I urge you all to make a fresh start, to open one or more windows of hope and to seize every opportunity,” he said. He welcomed the consent of the participants to “find African solutions to African problems together”.
Egypt and Sudan this month called on Kinshasa to step up efforts to resume talks on the dam. For Shiseki, “the human dimension should be at the center of these tripartite talks.”
He stressed that the people of the three countries have the right to water, food and health. Mike Hammer, the US ambassador to the DR Congo, attended the opening of the talks, which were set to take place on Monday.
The Nile, the world’s longest river, is a lifeline that provides both water and electricity to cross its 10 countries. Upstream Ethiopia says hydroelectric power generated by GERD will be essential to meet the energy needs of its 110 million people.