Ethiopia’s mega-dam is a powerful symbol of African empowerment, according to Peter Biar
Dr. Peter Biar Ajak, a notable South Sudanese economist and activist, said on Sunday that the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) would serve as a significant symbol of African awakening and empowerment.
Dr. Biar made the comment after Ethiopian Prime Minister Dr. Abiy Ahmed’s Sunday inauguration of energy generation from the multibillion-dollar Blue Nile project.
The $4.2 billion projects is planned to generate more than 5,000 megawatts of energy, which is more than enough to power Ethiopia.
According to state media, the dam began producing 375 megawatts of energy from one of its turbines on Sunday.
Apart from the fact that it would expedite Ethiopia’s industrialization plan with favorable externalities for the region, the GERD will serve as a strong symbol of African awakening and empowerment, “Biar remarked on his Facebook page on Sunday.”
According to Biar, the start of a multibillion-dollar project demonstrates the conviction of Ethiopians that what they have set their minds to cannot be defeated by other forces.
“Funded exclusively by Ethiopians and their compatriots in the Diaspora, it demonstrates that people’s desire to accomplish what they set their minds to can’t be stopped by unfavorable forces, no matter how powerful those forces are,” Biar added.
Since the dam’s construction started in 2021, it has been the source of regional contention.
Ethiopia’s downstream neighbors, Egypt and Sudan, see the project as a danger because of their reliance on the Nile rivers, whilst Addis Abeba sees it as necessary for electricity and growth.
Filling the huge reservoir of the GERD started in 2020, with Ethiopian stating in July of that year that it had fulfilled its aim of 4.9 billion cubic meters.
The reservoir’s overall capacity is 74 billion cubic meters, with an additional 13.5 billion cubic meters planned for 2021.
More than 60% of Ethiopia’s population lacks access to electricity. The GERD project is viewed as a solution to the issue.