KAMPALA – The Ethiopian Embassy in Uganda has said that the construction and second filling of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) is on progress and per schedule.
The revelation was made by H.E Ambassador Alemtsehay Meseret who was virtually briefing the media on current developments in Ethiopia from her residence in Kololo on July 9.
GERD is a hydropower project that was launched in 2011 on the Blue Nile, a significant Nile tributary with a project cost of $4.6 billion.
The GERD generates 6.4-GW (6450MW) after completion. Last year, in the first filling the Dam’s reservoir retained 4.9 cubic metres of water without ‘interrupting the continuous flow of water to the lower basin.’
In the Press briefing, H.E. Meseret focused on issues of the Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), Ethiopian government’s unilateral ceasefire in Tigray region, the recently concluded general election and the role of media.
H.E. Meseret shared that the construction of the GERD is on progress and has now reached more than 80% of its total completion and a 650-km transmission line has also been erected.
H.E. Meseret explained that the GERD issue is now irrationally being stretched into the agenda of third parties and the international community yet it is a flagship development project with extraordinary national significance for the future of its economic and energy security.
“65 million Ethiopians, which accounts nearly 60% of the population, have no access to electric power. The Dam’s second year filling happens as scheduled in the months of July and August this year, as there is high hydrology,” she said.
H.E Meseret explained that the Involvement of the African Union to solve persisting differences between Ethiopia, Egypt and Sudan is also an opportunity for the three countries to strengthen the Union and show the world that Africans can solve their problems by themselves.
Commenting on the Unilateral Ceasefire in Tigray, H.E. Meseret said the government of Ethiopia, understanding the evil efforts of the Tigray People Liberation Front (TPLF) to keep the pains of people in the region for its survival purpose, declared a Unilateral Ceasefire and the National Army was ordered to leave the whole of Tigray.
She shared that this was done mainly to benefit the whole people in Tigray to access humanitarian support and to allow the farmers to use the rainy season, which starts from July to September of the year, to plough their land safely by avoiding sporadic clashes with TPLF.
“TPLF abused the noble decision of the government and it keeps misinforming the international community that it has defeated the National Army and controlled the region. In contrast, the TPLF group’s being a national threat is neutralised and the group is incapable of fighting the Ethiopian army.”
According to Ms Meseret, The National Election Commission, led by Ms. Birtukan Mideksa, former Opposition Party, Human Right Activist, Prisoner of Conscience, and a respected Judge exceeded the expectation of the government, the Media, Civil Societies, the public and the International observers in managing the process of the 6th National Election.
She shared that the election was ‘conducted in an orderly, peaceful and credible manner’ as quoted by the African Union’s election observer mission in Ethiopia.
“The Prosperity Party led by the Prime Minister Dr. Abiy Ahmed won the majority of the vote and was declared a winner of the six term election with a landslide victory.”
Mr Abiy, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, described the vote as a “historically inclusive election” in a statement on Twitter.
H.E. Meseret shared that since the law enforcement operation in Tigray region was announced to defuse the existential threat posed by TPLF, some of the International Media have consistently been playing a negative role.
She explained that they have disclosed themselves as biased, one-sided and superficial to African issues.
“The International media looks at Africa in a much skewed perspective and wants to portray Africa as a continent filled with chaos, civil war, undemocratic leadership and full of evil. For this reason, we encourage our African brothers and sisters to engage frequently with Ethiopian authorities, embassies and get realities on the ground for a better analysis and reporting of issues that serve the aspiration of Ethiopia and Africa as a whole.”