Addis Ababa September 15/2022 (ENA) The Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) has set an example for Africa in terms of local resources mobilization, Ugandan and Congolese scholars said.
Makerere University Associate Professor, Kasaija Phillip Apuuli told ENA that the way Ethiopia managed to collect funds for the dam internally and without the assistance of international financial institutions is a good model that Africans can pick.
Nile Basin countries should learn from this example in terms of local resources mobilization, he added.
According to him, Ethiopia’s local resources mobilization model is a new approach to solving dire financial needs for vital infrastructural projects.
“It is a very good feat of engineering, and once completed it will be the biggest dam in Africa,” he noted, adding that “if projects like this are replicated in Africa 10 times, I think much of Africa can be powered.”
The scholar pointed out that the dam is also an example of equitable utilization of transboundary rivers as it proves equitable utilization.
“The water is flowing naturally from GERD. There is no blockage of the water and I think the Egyptians should rethink what they are talking about,” Associate Professor Apuuli stressed.
Since equitable utilization means that you can use the resource and pay due regard to others, the water impounded behind the dam only hit the turbine and continues its flow for other countries to benefit, he elaborated.
The scholar noted that they call Africa a dark continent “partly because we don’t have enough power. But by generating over 5000 MW, the GERD can light half the continent.”
The Congolese engineer, Robert Amini Bitakuya said on his part that what Africans learn from this project is how to self-finance such vital projects from local resources.
The way Ethiopia managed to finance such a huge dam with local resources align with the idea that there are African solutions to African problems, the engineer stated.
“I am very impressed by this dam which is a very impressive structure. It is a great achievement for Ethiopia and for Africa because this infrastructure will deliver power that will be supplied in much of East Africa.”
According to Bitakuya, the scale and the magnitude of this project is something that can be seen as an African pride.
“I do believe that the GERD is an African project because this dam will give power to more than three important countries in Eastern Africa. This is what we are looking at when we talk about integration.”
The scholar added that there should therefore be a way to fairly share the water so that all our people could benefit.