ADDIS ABABA, -- Sudan says its position on the huge Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) project on the Blue Nile River, not far from the border between the two countries has been very clear and "there is no different development or change on this position".

Dismissing rumours about a change in the stand of his government regarding the project, Sudan's Minister of Water Resources, Irrigation and Electricity, Mutaz Musa Abdalla said Friday: "Sudan has been very clear on this. Sudan's position is very clear and known. There is no different development or change on this position."

Responding to questions posed by journalists, the Minister, who is here to take part in a meeting of the Ethiopia-Sudan Technical Advisory Committee (ESTAC) on the dam, stressed that Sudan's "position is that every country is entitled to equitable use of the waters of River Nile without causing any significant harm to any riparian country".

"GERD is a project from which Ethiopia and we in Sudan and Egypt as well should always try by all means to benefit from," he added.

The three countries are also working together to find out if there is any significant harm the dam -- set to be the largest hydro-electric dam in Africa, with the capacity generate 6,000 megawatts (MW) of electricity when fully completed -- may cause and how to mitigate and handle such issues, he said.

He further pointed out that the major agenda of the meeting was exchange of information and data on the Nile waters, including early warning, flood mitigation and exchanges of experience on power control, distribution, and transmission arrangements.

Ethiopian Minister of Water, Irrigation and Electricity Motuma Mekasa said: "We believe our Trans Boundary Rivers are our common resources and this requires meaningful co-operation in sharing responsibilities as well as benefits by the countries."

Co-operation between the two countries fosters confidence and promotes co-operation in exchange of data as this builds our capacities through experience sharing, Motuma added.

"Through ESTAC, we will realize the scaling-up of power transmission inter-connections and power trading between our countries," he said, noting that water and energy were the two cornerstones and pillars of economic growth and social development of both countries.

The Ethiopia-Sudan Technical Advisory Committee was established in the 1990s and reactivated in 2013 to enhance co-operation in water and electricity sector between the two sneighbouring countries.

Source: Nam News Network

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