The Politics of Water: GERD Dilemma in Africa

Sarah Aljishi

The Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) on the Nile river, the world’s longest river, is part of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s vision to transform Ethiopia into a major regional player, and to a unite what is now a divided Ethiopia. However, negotiations between Egypt, Sudan, and Ethiopia, the three states sharing the river, on how to operate and allocate this water supply has come to a deadlock. In 2011, Ethiopia officially announced the construction of the GERD, and these three states have been in negotiations ever since. The African Union (AU) led by South Africa has been involved as mediator in these negotiations to ease tensions between the nations, and make sure that the states act in the African region’s best interest. This paper will examine and analyze the internal political and economic impact of the GERD project on Ethiopia, Egypt, Sudan, and their roles in the African Region.