Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam Project and Political Conflict
In 2011, Ethiopia started construction on a dam along the Blue Nile River that the government coined the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam Project, GERD. Projections predict the dam’s cost around $5 billion, which was around 7% of Ethiopia’s GDP in 2016. Egypt and Sudan lodged formal complaints against GERD’s construction due to their concerns about the dam’s impact on the Nile River. The complaints they lodged revolved around two major concerns: the legitimacy of the benefits versus drawbacks outlined by the Ethiopian government and concerns about the dam’s impact on the water supply downriver. Since the benefits of the dam include necessary poverty alleviation, it is important to outline a clear view of GERD’s history, each country’s side and an outside expert’s viewpoint on the project.