CREI Holds 18th In-Campus Seminar

Ethiopian Civil Service University, Center for Research in Ethics and Integrity (CREI) held its 18th In-campus Seminar on 30th November 2021, at Hidasse  Hall. The seminar was held under the theme of “Ethiopian Diplomacy and the Great Renaissance Dam: What Should We Do as Scholars?”

The speaker in the seminar Ambassador Ibrahim Idris, Boundary and Trans-Boundary Affairs Advisor to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, gave a detailed explanation on the issues related to the Great Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) and the Egyptians conspiracy on the construction of the Dam.

According to Ambassador Ibrahim, Ethiopia is a source of about eighty five percent of Nile River water but it is unable to utilize its Nile water for a number of reasons. Egypt is one of the causes for Ethiopian underdevelopment in many ways. By exploiting Great Ethiopian Renascence Dam, Egypt intends to deprive Ethiopia of using and development of Nile water including construction of Dam and irrigation. In contrast it has been engaged in constriction of Aswan Dam, Peace Canal and Toshka Canal. With a great desire to disrupt the construction of the Dam, Egypt furthermore continues to pressure Ethiopia, including political and diplomatic pressure by internationalizing the issue and moved it to the Security Council level seeking a political solution for the technical issues. After the inauguration of the GERD project, Egypt has started aggressive diplomatic campaign across the globe and is trying to hinder the progress of the project.

Ambassador Ibrahim also noted that, over the years Egypt has employed different strategies to subdue Ethiopia through different mechanisms including forcing Ethiopian into a legal trap-binding agreement and has been working not only for protection of its acquired right as ensuring in the 1959 agreement, but also wants to continue dominating the Nile water and stay stronger by depriving Ethiopia of the strategic value of the Nile river.  Ethiopian’s policy regarding the issues over the Nile River is very clear with a total commitment to cooperation on the basis of equitable and reasonable utilization of the water.  Ethiopia’s official position on the Nile is a sovereign right to use the Nile water for hydroelectric power, irrigation and to meet its needs for domestic and industrial purposes. Ethiopia has a firm stance on the issues as it is not a party to any of the treaties on the allocation of the Nile water that Egypt invoke to justify its uncontested right and the construction of the dam proceeds parallel with the development of rules and regulations on the filling of the dam. Ethiopia consented to consultation with Egypt and Sudan in circumstances where there are no treaty obligations on part of Ethiopia concerning the Nile water and believes consultation is the only avenue for the sustainable use of the Nile. It also believes that the dam will be a symbol of the integration of the regions.

With regard to the responsibilities and what should scholars do concerning the Egyptian conspiracy and hold out the pressures over the construction of the Dam, Ambassador Ibrahim, called upon every scholar to stand as an ambassador and exert utmost effort to make the international community aware of the truth. Scholar diplomats are the most appropriate actors of public diplomacy and should stand in unison behind the Ethiopian government against the conspiration of Egypt and Sudan. Being part of the scholar diplomats, we should urge the international community to impress upon Egypt and Egyptian to abandon the politics of the zero-sum game and should remain that it is in the best interest of Egypt to work on win-win cooperation, ambassador Ibrahim underscored.

Ambassador Ibrahim is a well-known diplomat, lecturer, Boundary and Trans-Boundary Affairs Advisor and member of the GERD negotiation team and is serving his country in different higher positions with his ample experiences.

 

Source: Ethiopian Civil Service University

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