Monday, September 1, 2014

Ethiopia's Millennium Dam: Science and controversy


The Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, also known as the Millennium Dam, is set to play a pivotal role in the landscape of energy supply in Africa. The dam is due to be completed in 2017 and is being built in the region of Benishangul–Gumuz near the eastern border with Sudan. Once finished, it will power Ethiopia and provide abundant energy to the neighbouring countries, enabling industrial development and strengthening Africa’s energy independence.

But the project is hugely controversial and downstream countries, in particular Egypt, fear that the dam’s management may have a catastrophic impact on their water security.

SciDev.Net travelled to Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa to put a spotlight on the science behind the controversy and discovered how science diplomacy could provide new platforms for dialogue.

In preparing this article the author acknowledges input from Rehab Abd Almohsen.