4 mins read

From Dr. Bekele Gessesse

Re:         Inflammatory comments on the Great Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD)

Dear President,

I was absolutely dismayed when I heard about the comments you made to the Sudanese Prime Minister, Mr. Abdella Hamdok on Friday, in which you mentioned that:

  1. Egypt will eventually blow up that dam and
  2. The dam will stop water from flowing into the Nile

How can you ever anticipate this? Blowing up great dams has serious repercussions. It is an act of war. Ethiopia will be forced to retaliate. Imagine what happens to the lives of millions if dams such as GERD and Aswan are blown up. Secondly, you mentioned that the dam will stop water from flowing. This cannot be true. Blue Nile is a very large river. Besides, the filling up of the dam is going to be carried out over so many years – more than 7 years.

I found it totally unbelievable. I am a professional on Environmental Protection and Sustainable Development. Countries build dams for various reasons, including hydropower, irrigation, drinking water and flood control. That is why your country has over 9,000 dams; China over 23,000; India over 4,000; Japan over 3,000; Brazil over 1,300; Canada over 1,100; Mexico over 1,000; Spain over 1,000, Turkey over 700, etc.

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Currently, the overwhelming majority of the Ethiopia people do not have access to electric energy. Very heavy dependence is made on the use of firewood. With increasing population, this is leading to massive deforestation and climate change. It is with this intension that the Country has been making great endeavours to complete the construction of the Great Ethiopian Renaissance Dam mainly for the generation of hydropower.

The Nile Basin Initiative was launched in 1999 to develop partnership among the Nile riparian countries that “seeks to develop the river in a cooperative manner, share substantial socioeconomic benefits, and promote regional peace and security. The Water Ministers of Ethiopia, Egypt and Sudan were parties to this initiative. However, while 5 upstream countries signed a Cooperative Framework Agreement in 2010, it was opposed by Egypt and Sudan.

In order to develop mutual understanding, however, Ethiopia, Egypt and Sudan signed the Declaration of Principles in 2015 to facilitate close cooperation and equitable use of Nile water. Ethiopia made her intentions very clear at a number of meetings and declarations, providing assurances that her construction and use of GERD would not affect Egyptian and Sudanese interests. But what is seen from the other sides is utter arrogance and intimidations. Ethiopia and Egypt have never made any formal agreements on the use of the River. Whatever agreement they talk about refers to the decisions of their past colonial masters that have nothing to do with Ethiopia.

Read Aloud:   ESAT Radio - August 17, 2013

Ethiopia contributes about 80% of the total Nile flow. It is the lifeline of the Egyptian people. They need to be grateful to that. Ethiopia should not be intimidated from using her own river in a manner that will not harm the downstream countries.

What is required is to go back to the Nile Basin Initiative, develop mutual trust, make agreements and enjoy that great gift of God. Making unnecessary provocations, instigations and terrorism would not help anyone. It will only be a mutual destruction. We have enough of bombings and destructions in the world. This should not be allowed in this 21st century.



  1. I want say something about an issues I’ve always used this and other platforms to have a fire side chat with my countrymen/women who I have nothing but love for, I want to talk about this raging pandemic. I know most of us are preoccupied with the hula of the Election Year. But this deadly virus is claiming more victims in unprecedented numbers. Many times it is natural that we human beings tend to be having mitigating fatigue during such unrelenting scourge. It had happened during the 1918 Flu Pandemic. We are doing it again to ourselves. You might have read what the great writer Earnest Hemingway did to one of his best friends. He was also confused on what to believe upon hearing this and that mitigating protocols from experts. But please do not repeat history with yourselves and your loved ones. Make wearing face masks, keeping suggested social distancing and washing your hands your daily dead giveaways. May The Almighty Our Creator protect us all!!!

    In the meantime, I have found something to be pleased with. The recovery rate at our old country has just crossed the 50% line for the first time at 50.93% today. It was in the 20% range not too long ago. Our daughter/sister Dr. Lia bint Tadesse and her capable team deserve my loud and big congratulations.

  2. Amara mentality needs to be made nomore in Ethiopia. Amara mentality is what is making Ethiopians loose. Not one other ethnicity in Ethiopia except the Amara get genocide waged against it and sit back pretending like nothing happened. Intellectual or not , elite or not any ethnicity would not let genocide be waged against it and sit back and watch it without taking appropriate reaction as the Amaras are doing , only Amaras intellectuals do that. Not one tribenif Africa except Amara do nothing while being victimized by genocide as long as the Amara did suffer grnocide..

    Now the GERD is on the verge of getting blown up but the Amara mentality is blocking the Ethiopian government to see it, same as the Amara genocide is not being recognized the GERD danger is also not being recognized .

    THE STUDENT MOVEMENT GENERATION “INTELLECTUAL ELITES ” HAD DONE SO MUCH BAD TO ETHIOPIA BY THEM COMING UP WITH THE MARX ENGLES AND LENIN PHILOSOPHY in Ethiopia half a century ago . The only thing the student movement got to be proud of as contributing positive to Ethiopia is if this GERD succeeds , student movement generation don’t want to hear anyother prooaganda that makes them look bad . For the first time in the student movement generation life they got opportunity and want to be part of posetive thing they did to Ethiopia which is GERD. Trump is ruining their excitement by telling them GERD will be blown unless negotiation bares fruit.

  3. From Dr. Bekele Gessesse
    Re: Inflammatory comments on the Great Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD)

    Humble Commentary
    It is an excellent, dignified commentary from an African Scholar, Ethiopia in particular. Addressing to the President of USA has no meaning as he has no ability to understand the African Scholars other than his negative attitude against Black Race in totality that was twisted in his mind by his father and others of the same mentality, ever since he was a child. He is doomed and hypnotized to his grave.

    I thank Dr. Bekele Gessesse for a magnificent narration with absolute DIGNITY– a lesson to those with narrow mindedness.

  4. Good news that the three nations are back to the negotiation table chaired by the AU!!! Negotiation should always be encouraged and let’s hope that the three nations will come to amicable treaty where everyone will give and take. If that happens that will be a very good achievement but it will not resolve the nightmarish problem each one of these three countries is facing. They all have an elephant in the room called population explosion and they are not doing anything about it. When I left my small village along the old railway line more that 60 years ago there were no more than 500 people who called it home. Now there are more than 35,000 of them on the same area of land. There isn’t a single factory or any other of industrial setting. It seems that fathers and mothers are programmed to breed like worms so they can feed the illegal migratory line as soon as their children are strong enough to walk. With the recent ‘pillage’em, burn’em rampage I don’t really know who will have the courage/will to open a factory there. Industrial outfit is not present only in that small village but it is not everywhere in the country except in and around the outskirts of the capital. It is said that both in Ethiopia and Egypt a new baby is born every 14-15 seconds. That means there will be a minimum of 2.5 million new mouths to feed every year. Ethiopia had a population of around 90 million in 2010 but it has now grown to an alarming 120 million. That is an increase by a whopping 30 million in just a decade. If you use that number and do some exponential that country will be stretched so big to double its current size to 250 million before 2050. Egypt is also facing the same explosion. Sudan is also having population growth but it has not reached the hundredth mark yet,

    Population explosion will continue to haunt successive governments in these two countries and they are doing nothing plausible about it. Honestly they will have no tangible success even if they try hard without the wholehearted cooperation/encouragement by the leaders of the two major religions. The Almighty Our Creator had blessed mankind to multiply but not to over populate the good earth. Population explosion is the time bomb these two countries have in their hands. Unless they come up with a national plan to control this runaway explosion it is going to eat them up at their hearts like a malignant/metastasized cancer.

  5. I want to give here a loud shout-out to Ittu Farda for his extraordinary comments and patriotic messages ! The same appreciation goes to all of you who work day and night for the great land, Ethiopia!!

    • A loud shout-out back at you dear Demise. Let’s keep up our work for the good of those glorious people who produced us all. Let good triumph over evil. Let harmony and peaceful coexistence prevail over bigots among us!!!! Insha’Allah!!!!!

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