ADDIS ABABA- Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed accentuated the benefit of the self-financed Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) to water resources conservation which otherwise would be lost to evaporation in downstream countries.
The Premier also pledged unwavering support to lasting peace in the Horn region in partnership with the international community.
These came when the Prime Minister addressed the general debate of the 75th Session of the General Assembly of
UN on 25 Sep. 2020 on a pre-recorded message.
Explaining the intention behind building the GERD, the premier went on saying that Ethiopia has no intention to harm Sudan and Egypt while he put forth the fact that what the people of Ethiopia have been doing is meant to meet the electricity demands from one of the cleanest sources of energy.
“We cannot afford to continue keeping more than 65 million of our people in the dark.”
A showcase to Ethiopia’s genuine stance is that the entire process of the construction has been guided by the internationally accepted principles of “equitable utilization” and “not causing significant harm” in building the dam, he indicated.
“Our unwavering commitment to this is clearly captured in the Declaration of Principles signed by Ethiopia, Egypt and the Sudan in March 2015.”
He has also assured that the government and people of Ethiopia are firm in their commitment to addressing the concerns of downstream countries and reaching a mutual beneficiary outcome in the context of the ongoing African Union-led process.
Regarding Horn peace, the premier said: “Our peace and development are closely interlinked with the peace and security of countries in our sub-region.”
“We are encouraged by the formation of the Revitalized Transitional Government of National Unity in South Sudan. We hope the South Sudanese political stakeholders will continue to work together in the spirit of cooperation to address outstanding issues and improve the plight of the South Sudanese people who have suffered for far too long.”
He also indicated that the Sudanese Transitional Government needs all the support it can get from the international community in easing the serious socio-economic difficulties facing the country and fulfilling the hopes and aspirations of the Sudanese people.
When it comes to Somalia, Abiy expressed grave concern over the continued attacks perpetrated by Al-shabab. “We all need to continue supporting Somalia in the security endeavor.”
Abiy also appreciated the international COVID-19 response in support of Africa which provided some relief. “We believe that much more is still needed to be done to soften the medium and long term impacts of the pandemic on our continent.”