Addis Ababa, September 10, 2022 (FBC) – The Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) is a massive project that benefits not only Ethiopia but also countries in the region, former Nairobi Mayor Geo Akech said.
The former mayor who is also Kenya-Ethiopia Friends Chairperson said the dam is an African project “we should come out and support.”
The project shouldn’t be viewed through the perspective of the western world but through the initiative of the people of Ethiopia, he added.
“As Africans, we must congratulate Addis Ababa for coming up with such a good dam, which is going to generate a lot of opportunity to improve the economic situation in all countries within the region.”
He further stated that “we in Kenya are so delighted because we already have an agreement with Ethiopia in terms of giving us some energy, which, of course was signed by our beloved government previously.”
Moreover, “I also want to echo the sentiment of the people of Ethiopia because this dam has been built not through the World Bank, not through the IMF, but through the spirit of Harambe, which in Kiswahili language means ‘let’s put together and achieve something.’”
Akech further said that he was surprised to learn that all Ethiopians, including women, mothers, children, even prisoners, have contributed to the development of the project.
“I think Ethiopia should be given the maximum support because whatever this project is going to do, it is to the benefit not only of Ethiopia but also Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and even Egypt.”
Egypt must also appreciate what this government is doing, the chairperson said, adding that from what he saw Egypt and Sudan are not going to lose anything. “As a matter of fact, they are gaining.”
According to him, Africans should really get together and work together and give a lot of support to the people of Ethiopia since it is an African project.
“I am urging the African Union to come up in a very nice manner diplomatically so that we can sit down together as Africans and see how we can benefit in this project, which is put by the people and Government of Ethiopia.”
Akech noted that there is currently a lot of propaganda regarding this project. However, that is not true. “I don’t think it is fair that to use propaganda and mischievous communication regarding this project.”
South Sudan Youth League Union Secretary General, Justine Urio Ajieng said the project is truly an asset for the region.
“Some 93 percent of the land of South Sudan is arable and best for agriculture. So, If we get electric power, we can go for large-scale irrigation and this will produce lots of food,” the youth league secretary general stated.
Electric power from GERD can make South Sudan the Ukraine of Africa because it has fertile land which only needs to be irrigated, he told ENA.
“This project doesn’t have side effects as the water continues to flow normally. This year, even when the dam is being filled, much of North and South Sudan is affected by floods.”
Had it not been for this dam, the flood would have been much more severe, Ajieng noted.
“So we need to handle our affairs as Africans, and as young people in this region work on it. If there are side effects, we should also handle the side effects through negotiation and youth engagement.”