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A Breakthrough between Cairo and Addis Ababa over Grand Hydro Dam

Egypt and Ethiopia have agreed to finalise a deal over Ethiopia’s controversial mega-dam on the Blue Nile within four months. They agreed “to initiate expedited negotiations to finalise the agreement between Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan on the filling” of the dam and its operation within four months, the statement said. The two leaders met on the sidelines of a summit of African leaders from war-torn Sudan’s neighbours seeking to end the conflict that has raged there for nearly three months. The massive $4.2-billion Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (Gerd) has been at the centre of a regional dispute ever since Ethiopia broke ground on the project in 2011, with Egypt fearing it will slash its share of Nile water. Egypt has long viewed the dam as an existential threat, as it relies on the Nile for 97 percent of its water needs. The dam is nonetheless central to Ethiopia’s development plans, and in February 2022 Addis Ababa announced that it had begun generating hydroelectric energy for the first time.