Ethiopia began to produce electricity from its Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) for the first time in history. It is a massive hydropower plant that is built on the River Nile that neighbors Sudan and Egypt.
On Sunday, Prime Minister of Ethiopia Abiy Ahmed officially inaugurated the electricity production from the mega-dam which is considered as a milestone in the controversial multibillion-dollar project.
Prime Minister toured the power generation along with his high-ranking officials. He pressed a series of buttons on an electronic screen to initiate the production.
Abiy said, “Ethiopia’s main interest is to bring light to 60% of the population who is suffering in darkness, to save the labor of our mothers who are carrying wood on their backs in order to get energy”.
This project is said to cause severe water shortages downstream to which the prime minister assured them that his country did not want to harm the interests of neighboring countries.
However, Egypt’s foreign ministry accused Ethiopia of “persisting in its violations”. He said that in accordance with the preliminary deal signed between the three nations in 2015. The deal prohibited any of the parties from taking unilateral actions in the use of the water from the river.