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What’s behind the dispute over Africa’s largest dam project? | Inside Story

2020 6/30
What's behind the dispute over Africa's largest dam project? | Inside Story

For thousands of years, the Nile has been the backbone of civilisations and a source of conflict.
The latest dispute is over the the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, the largest hydroelectric dam project in Africa.
Ethiopia’s government says its $4 billion project on the Blue Nile will provide power to its more than 100 million citizens and create huge opportunities for its economy.
It wants to start filling the dam’s reservoir in July when its rainy season begins.
But Sudan and Egypt downstream first want a legally-binding agreement on how long it will take to fill the dam, and the way it will be operated.
The African Union is mediating.
Ethiopia’s government says the parties could finalise an agreement within two to three weeks.

Can they find a way to bridge their differences?

Presenter: Imran Khan

Guests:

Gedion Asfaw – Head of the Technical Committee of the Ethiopian Negotiating Delegation.

Osman El-Tom – Former Sudanese Minister of Water Resources and Irrigation.

Mac Sharkawy – Political Writer and Researcher on Egyptian Affairs.

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  • Sorsa Oli says:

    Egytians to Ethiopians: Don’t eat or drink, We eat and drink for you. Ethiopia made a mistake of inviting Sudan and Egypt to negotiate on development projects in Ethiopia.

  • ewunet tenager says:

    TRUMP ,WORLD BANK,ARAB UNITY ARE STAND FOR RICH EYGYPT AND THEY ARE BUYING HIGH TECH WEAPONS FOR EYGYPT,WHO CARE GOD ALWAYS WITH ETHIOPIA AND ETHIOPA IS LOVE SHARING NILE TO SUDAN..EYGYPT E.T.C BUT NO ONE IS THANKFUL ALSO EYGYPIAN AND COLONIZERS WANT TO STOP ETHIOPIAN HOSPITAL,CLINIC,FOOD FACTORIES LIGHT THAT WHY WE NEED ELECTRIC POWER FROM OUR WATER BUT SELFISH POLITICIANS
    IGNORANT …WE BLACK AFRICANS NOT ALONE AND WE CAN DEFEND ETHIOPIA FROM EYGYPT

  • Kal Palnicki says:

    The Aswan Dam screwed over Egypt

  • Eugene Ochar says:

    Typical Egyptian. They argue with emotions and not facts. Worked with them in Qatar and they treat others like mats to be stepped on. Pharaoh’s blood clearly runs in these people. Ethiopians deserve every drop of water they need for the dam.

  • 6vie Tv says:

    The Colorado river that physically runs through the US and Mexico, stop in the United States. ON the Mexican side of the Boarder the river banks are dry. The US input is NULL and void. Only the AFRICAN UNION, which Egypt is a member of should be part of any resolution over Ethiopia’s sovereign water.

  • Hayat Mekamu says:

    Thank u so much my brother gedion from Adiss Ababa ❤️

  • Samuel Asnake says:

    They Egyptian representative so childish sad, they have to bring another one.

  • dani dani says:

    😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭

  • Wbit Goshu says:

    I am proud to be an Ethiopian to be represented by Eng. Gedion On the inside story program of Algezera yesterday. He showed that how we Ethiopians are well cultured and also how we Ethiopians know to respect others by respecting ourselves. Eng Gedion knows the topic very well, he is a good deplomat and has defended his country .
    The guest from Egypt 1. He is failed for the invited topic diplomacy. 2. He is not cultured and I think he does not know that our tounge (what we talk) can judge us or can tell who we are. 3. He is out of topic and was out of order, he was trying to talk about our beloved prime minister Dr Abiy Ahmed and about Ethiopians that .I think it does not concern him. Our pm Abiy Ahmed is a broad minded and intelligent, for your information he will be our prime minister for the next 10 years as he is our best primer . You scored zero ‘0’ for this inteviw.
    The Sudanese man well prepaire and knows the topic. He is a good diplomat and is neutral.

  • dani dani says:

    👍👍👍👍👍👍👍👍👍👍👍👍

  • muluken jufar says:

    You can see from this discussion how the egypt representative is disrespectful and no capability. How can anyone negotiate with such low minded people

  • Decus says:

    Egypt is clearly being completely unreasonable and bellicose in it’s attempts to maintain the status quo based upon a treaty from the 1920’s to which Ethiopia was not a party. The fact that Sudan has no issue with the agreed timelines demonstrates that the ongoing difficulties in the discussion of this issue are entirely on Egypt’s side, due only to their historically privileged position, and not due to any reasonable concerns.

  • Piman Mann Jaques says:

    Arab fighting for African resources smh.

    • panda in a bambo says:

      Africa is a continent .Arab is a culture

    • Piman Mann Jaques says:

      @panda in a bambo exactly, Arabic culture is foreign to Africa. They should fight over the Euphrates.

  • Dr. Teferi Legese says:

    Give us thirty years. We will show you if the Blue Nile is Egyptians or Ours. After 30 years, you will pay for any spoon of water that comes out of Ethiopia. Egypt army is better because of America. When China take over the world, Egypt’s army will be in the bottom.

    • panda in a bambo says:

      Downstream nation have certain rights to water that floes into there country Ethiopians should not be this arrogant specially considering there country is still so poor

    • Dr. Teferi Legese says:

      @panda in a bambo If you are rich, then leave us alone.

    • panda in a bambo says:

      @Dr. Teferi Legese we will when you stop trying to starve Egypt to death

  • Golden Kiwi says:

    The Egyptian guy was so embarrassing

  • Bonzo says:

    China is behind it!

  • HaPhThom H2B says:

    Long live to all African countries, I hope sooner something good news will come, but Egyptian🇪🇬 try to take consideration as we Ethiopian🇪🇹 are your close neighborhood countries people we should have to come to negotiation and find disputing our Differences. Good luck my country #🇪🇹Ethiopia 🤗
    [ We all are friends Sudan❤️]

  • Eddie Jones says:

    Be sure of one thing, all African Americans will stand with Ethiopia. We stood with them against Italy, and we stand with them still. They are our blood brothers. Dont underestimate black people; you took part in enslaving Africans, we didn’t forget that. We will not stand to see Ethiopia harmed. Neither will any of African decent. You are playing with fire.

  • Ishak Ousman says:

    That is ethiopan water

  • Ramon Ching says:

    “We cannot trust Ethiopia” , then make it rain in Egypt. Negotiate.

    • Abeti Fekade says:

      That’s right. Egypt always forgets the water resource is coming from Ethiopia. How come egypt order the resource owner as if the water is in its land…funny.

  • tigist yalemeshet says:

    Egyptians guy rudely interrupted the host a couple of time he is not smart because he just ate to much sugar to give him energy and make noises‼ so most of the time he talks about out of the topic running here and there like mad dog talking baseless claiming but doesn’t have evidence to show he even doesn’t have any idea his country already make an agreement one of the main issue he was talking about I don’t know this people call themselves experts researchers but when you hear them you just compared them with elementary school‼

  • Jorge Estemac says:

    Any agreement imposed by colonial powers should not be recognised by any freed sovereign nations that were under colonial rule of a foreign nation. They need to negotiate their own treaties with their neighbours.

  • Alem Gilaw says:

    I am so disappointed with the Egyptian from Washington DC he cannot carry on the same subject until it ends he doesn’t have no knowledge
    I don’t think even he doesn’t know what is the blue Nile because he’s thinking cames with a colonized mentality, an ideology he never uses he’s a common-sense he born with senses and no self-confidence that is why they lost in politics and cannot sale wrong propaganda my suggestion please bring people with good knowledge if you can find one.

  • Berhanu Legese says:

    cool, calm and collected. how you should be when you know you are in control, Thank you Mr Gideon.

  • Berhanu Legese says:

    Al Jazeera, choose a better debater next time. where did you get the Egyptian guy from? the streets?

  • dani love says:

    Ethiopia 🇪🇹 May poison the Nile from its source with Dangerous Chemical & End life in Egypt 🇪🇬 .Ethiopians are very tactical when it comes to war ,Historically Ethiopia had war with Egypt twice & both won by Ethiopia.This will be the 3-Ethio-Egyptian war If it broke out .Ethiopia defeated western power like Italy not because of having military machines but with battle ground techniques . I suggest resolving the dispute amicably for the benefit of both countries

  • Elsa Dejenu says:

    You don’t need to trust us but the only thing you need to know is we have a right to use it.

  • Masresha Mohammed Dawde says:

    Proud of Engineer Ghedion Asfaw 🙏🙏🙏🇪🇹🇪🇹🇪🇹 he did outsmarted the discussion by far.

  • yohannes afework says:

    Egypt is just being dramatic technically speaking not a single Egyptian will be harmed with this dam during filling or after that is what Ethiopia wants, instead the dam will contribute for better management of the resource this has been scientifically studied and agreed up on in 2015 with all three courtiers!! Egypt is the one that started talking about military action in the first place that provoked Ethiopian and change the subject in to sovereignty question rather than than sharing a water and we are all witnessing what sovereignty means to Ethiopia!!! The water is enough for all of us no one will block no one will die as long as the point of focus is using the nile fairly! but if it is a matter of sovereignty morality will be off the table and the result will be catastrophic as Ethiopa supply more than 85% of Egypt’s fresh water!

  • Saint Louis Du Sud says:

    THIS EGYPT HAVE NO RIGHT TO FIGHT OVER WATER IN AFRICA THESE PEOPLE IN NORTH AFRICA DON’T BELONG IN AFRICA

  • yohannes afework says:

    The Egyptian dud from DC though 🤣🤣🤣
    a living version of Homer Simpson🤣🤣

  • Paul King says:

    That’s my water and my dam

  • The Beany Mac says:

    pathetic sooks

  • g tr says:

    Whoever lead Ethiopia. Abiy or other. The Gerd is our dam. It’s in our blood. We will fill the dam and use the water without affecting our neighbours.

  • Paul King says:

    take look this panelist of Egyptian extremely ignorant taking about 1902 kkkkkkkkkkkk

  • Dagmawi Abate says:

    Ethiopia should not meet or discuss the issue of Nile with Egypt at all .

  • Abiie Create says:

    Somalia 🇸🇴 is siding with the winner

  • ayouba sylla says:

    The denger is real ,if there is a conflict nobody will win ,keep the negotiation open for the benefit of Africa 😷

  • Hagere Yetelash yitella says:

    This Egyptian man from Washinton DC has no clue and doesnt know what is he talking about. Shame on him to be there representing his country without no fact

    • Hagere Yetelash yitella says:

      He is clueless, just high tempered

    • Hagere Yetelash yitella says:

      Get him a cup of coffee from 7-11

  • Dennis Marfo says:

    To all those who don’t know the definition of spewing chaff in an interview, the Egyptian guy offers a nice example.

  • Haashim Ahmed says:

    Somalilland stands with ethiopia because we need to recognise us as a country, we see that egypt is beating around the bush. united horn..

  • Aschu Tadesse says:

    Hulu let’s go to 25:16
    Egypt army is 1st in reign and 9th in the world it doesn’t matter we just waiting for better place we don’t want war but if it’s come you lose more than Ethiopia

  • Solomon Wolde says:

    Why the Egyptian guy keep nodding his head?

    He acts like Indians

  • G ABD says:

    I am Somalia and support Sudan and Egypt/Masar

  • Daniel Lartey says:

    The underlying problem for a mutual understanding is would be water levels ‘downstream’ as normally referred to in matters of this nature Ethiopia is the least worried and frankly for the people of Sudan and Egypt they would be at the receiving end of any mishap and the two governments of Sudan and Egypt are sensitive to the sayings of their country people which they have to manage politically.

  • Siyoum Osabo says:

    Thank you Al Jazeera for not cutting out Dr. Gedion’s answer 19:38; Dr. Gedion, respect from all the people who are working hard to see prosperous Ethiopia.

  • Gizachew Endale says:

    It’s my dam! Period!!!

  • Sandra Smith says:

    Impressed with what Gedion Asfaw of Ethiopia is saying, clear and to the point. I am not sure about the gentleman from Washington who represent Egypt is saying. The issue is not about leadership. He has to really understand the colonial treaty of 1902. Egypt should actually contribute to the development of Ethiopia and the whole of Africa as opposed to being selfish and and uncooperative. The colonial agreement should be abolished and replaced. What are the British saying now?

  • ኢትዮ ማን ET says:

    What a disaster this guy was to Egypt. Arrogant, ignorant, disrespectful not only to the panelists but also the audience and the entire Africa. He is an embarrassment. In his defense though, I don’t think anyone can defend the position Egypt has taken on this matter which is a demand to maintain its monopoly on the Nile.

  • emmanuel safari says:

    If this was UAE or European dam Egypt will never say anything, bz its Ethiopia that’s why they’re making noise, they both share the river and benefit all of them without involving trump, Victoria is overflowing, there’s enough water to share,so please Egypt stop the nonsense,

  • D ROBI says:

    Mac Sharkawy please fam go back to school you are not a good face to your country. I have Egyptian friend in high school far more wiser than you are. Why would you talk about military ranking in a peaceful talk?

  • elias tafese says:

    We have the rights to building the Great Dam b/se that’s our great achievement, we didn’t asked Egyptians when they building the ashamed dam okkkkkkk

  • elias tafese says:

    Am so prowed by Geddion

  • Nadia A Ali says:

    Go Ethiopia! The lion of Africa. The guy from DC mentioning they are 9 in the world for military. Does he not realize that Egypt lost to Ethiopia twice? I think the Italians also underestimated Ethiopia. This time though, all of Africa is with Ethiopia. Egypt can build a wall around herself if she wants. Besides the real ancient Egyptians are from East Africa 🙂

  • Efrem Fitaw says:

    Egypt ignorant

  • Efrem Fitaw says:

    The Ethiopian and Sudan make sense Egypt ignorant

  • Efrem Fitaw says:

    Egypt may be one day you are going to pay money to use the Nile water you better be nice

  • Theo H says:

    My God the Egyptian guy rumble here and there, I appreciate the manners of both Ethiopia and Sudan. Also appreciate the commentator gives them fair chance to respond

  • comrade RSA Incorruptible says:

    I see the external influence from the angle of the Egyptian American.

  • Amanny16 says:

    Its My Dam! Fill The Dam!

  • fekadu girma says:

    Egypt stop to play this kinds of game this is not jok we want to fill our dam where are you until to day now is how money years a go i think you are now today egypt do not think about sudan

  • fulaan1 says:

    Egyptian man was getting emotional.

  • fulaan1 says:

    I’m afraid this might lead to a war. Though I believe it would be a short one. Ethiopia has made great strides in recent years. War would set them back and Egypt’s military is far superior unfortunately.

  • mulugeta Yigzaw says:

    No body stop ethiopian to use their resourse egypt minister said un exceptable through the international law ,,,

  • Habteyesus Mathewos says:

    PM Abiy believe in logic and reality. Please do not provoke people to go for a war. Because Ethiopian do not afraid of war as we now in the history. But we better talk about peace instead of war. War will not help anyone in this planet. Shout your mouth and fight COVID 19.

  • Ocakacon Simon Peter says:

    Well treaties can be amended & that’s what Ethiopians want

  • Ocakacon Simon Peter says:

    The Ethiopian dude is way much above this debate…. In fact i think he should seek for a place in the UN docket, he could do a lot to resolve global challenges

  • bastia Mars says:

    Ethiopia. don’t worry as African countries are in full spirit with you. you will win the case. greetings from Cameroon

  • Black Beauty Magic says:

    You can not deny the nature . Its originated in Ethiopia land . We Will fill the dam ! We have right accesses to electricity . Perioddd .

  • Black Beauty Magic says:

    From now Egypt has to pay the water she use from Ethiopia .

  • Black Beauty Magic says:

    I never seen such stupid man(Egypt) . We will not sign unless we will agree . Who do u think ur . I am proud of you D/r Gedeon Assfawu

  • Dani_yemariam_lij says:

    The Egyptian panelist is a complete moron. Free from any knowledge. Of course they don’t want to send someone knowledgeable, because then there is nothing to discuss. Ethiopian has been fair and transparent. The dam can NOT be stopped. I want to thank all the world community who is commenting to support Ethiopia.

  • BA says:

    Mack Shekhhar from Washington has no clue about the subject. He dose nothing except Jumping up and down. Very shame full behaviour

  • Banesh Aleme says:

    Egyptian officials should tell all the facts for the rest of the world how they are using/misusing the Nile water . How much water is lost just because of Egyptian mismanagement ??? Let us be clear here ,,,, Ethiopians have the right to use their natural resources as they like . The same is true with Egypt, Sudan, Kenya, Tanzania or any other countries.We call this SOVEREIGNTY.
    Just stop Egyptian arrogance & ignorance !!!

  • habtamu bitew says:

    We should never trust the Egyptians on the Nile issue, because we will never change the way they treat themselves like a chameleon.
    يجب ألا نثق أبدًا في المصريين في قضية النيل ، لأننا لن نغير أبدًا الطريقة التي يعاملون أنفسهم بها مثل الحرباء.

  • habtamu bitew says:

    The Egyptians are on a 16th century colonial nightmare Now in the 21st century, that colonial contract does not work !!! Change your calendar.
    المصريون يعيشون في كابوس استعماري من القرن السادس عشر الآن في القرن الحادي والعشرين ، لا ينجح ذلك العقد الاستعماري !!! قم بتغيير التقويم الخاص بك.

  • Banesh Aleme says:

    Mac Sharkawy are you sure Ethiopia isn’t trustworthy ???
    We Africans are proud of Ethiopians spirit of freedom & equality at the time all countries in Africa are colonized by Europeans. Ethiopia is the symbol of independence for all black people in the world. You may not take this fact because Egyptians were not claiming themselves as Africans . That is the reason you run to Western countries for solution without even trying to consult African brothers . For sure Ethiopia has the RIGHT to use its natural resource !!! Egypt will/should not dictate what the source or significant contributor of the Nile can do about their own resources. Rather Egypt should come to the table with honesty & wisdom how to use the Nile proportionally with all down & up stream countries . No need to talk about old fashioned colonial era agreements. If Egypt really think to be governed by those crappie agreements , call for your COLONIAL MASTERS to rule you again…….

  • Desale Flibo says:

    Why was the egyptian representative telling us about the military ranking of his country. This was about negotiating of filling the dam. He must be ignorant person who cannot even talk in a family gathering. ARABS , shame on you. The world is moving and you r lagging. Love from ERITREA.

  • Banesh Aleme says:

    Shame on the Egyptian panelist to claim that his country has get the mandate to use the Nile from the European colonial power. Please get real sir. We Africans are not in a time of colonialism now , I’m not sure about Egypt though.

  • Unite Islamic empire says:

    I am with Egypt on this one 🇸🇴🇸🇴

  • Alieu Darboe says:

    Build the dam and cut off the water let the arrogant be taught a lesson that the source of their life is under the black Africans feet.Respect us#

  • KIMOTHO says:

    In Kenya we stand with our uncle, Ethiopia.

  • Ethio-Europe tube says:

    It’s our water it is our right to do whatever we want no one can tell us what to do enough is enough

  • Mesay Tekalgn says:

    I don’t know why Egyptian leader think themselves the god of the Nile,… Ethiopian always considered the neighboring country mutual benefit as long as the Dum finished on time framework but this Egypt’s politician want over control the horn of Africa by propaganda and thier defence army, I swearing to God this is not possible even on their dreams, Egyptian going to be fail soon forever if they continue like this greedy.

  • Ethiopia- Lord is Love says:

    The Egyptian guy is claiming ownership on Nile, that is disrespect to Ethiopians. This guy is not absolutely reasonable at all, and PLS DON’T invite him in such important discussions!! Thanks

  • Ozkan Onalan says:

    Hope the zionists won’t use Ethiopia to put more pressure on Egypt

  • Anteneh Tefera says:

    ARROGANT MORONS!!!
    This guy is the perfect representation of Egypt’s attitude.
    Egypt always has this mentality of destruction, control, suppression and dominance towards all African (black) nations. And that attitude has been the cornerstone of their foreign diplomacy. They have moved every rock with-in their reach to destabilize whomever they have a disputed interest with. You see, as Ethiopia is the source of 68-85%(depending on the season) of the Abay (Nile) river Egypt’s attitude should have been: “Lets jointly protect this precious resource together.” And stand along with riparian states to ensure the safety of the water for generations to come. But “noooooo”, Egypt has continually chosen to meddle-in other sovereign states internal agenda and hope they would never think about the Nile.

  • journey boy says:

    We stand for Ethiopia 100%let’s go Africa the Gambia

  • Abraham Addam says:

    I think the guest represented Egypt has demonstrated that they trust their colonial masters than Africans.

  • Angel Angel says:

    🇪🇬🇪🇬🇪🇬🇪🇬🇪🇬🇪🇬🇪🇬🇪🇬🇪🇬🇪🇬🇪🇬🇪🇬🇪🇬🇪🇬🇪🇬🇪🇬

  • Girma Asres says:

    Out of the topic completly the Egyptian person 🤣🤣🤣

  • Girma Asres says:

    The best way is discussion round the table.

  • Almost There says:

    family guy

  • Benyam I Wari says:

    Yes we will fill the dam .

  • Mesgana zemedkun says:

    Stay on your lane Ms Egypt don’t talk about our election and domestic politics speak about the dam you know you don’t have the truth that’s why you talk loud

  • Minyahil Tanashu says:

    The Egyptian guy is narrow minded like his master SISI. Africa will rise up

  • Zafer ATIK says:

    Why would Ethiopia need permission from Egypt to build a dam on the river within Ethiopian land?

  • RSA says:

    South Africa 🇿🇦 supports our Ethiopian 🇪🇹 brothers and sisters. We will help protect you at all costs🇪🇹🇿🇦

  • Len says:

    Let Ethiopia have their Industrial revolution

  • Mariya Abe says:

    OMG the guest from Washington is uneducated and selfish man, he always on the discussion, he’s going through different subjects this shows how EgyptIan politics’s weaknesses .

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