Africa-Press – Ethiopia. The Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) will play a pivotal role in boosting regional integration through promoting energy supply, South Sudanese scholar said.
The GERD, a hydropower dam that Ethiopia is constructing on the Abbay/Blue Nile River, will be the hub of clean and renewable energy supply by increasing the country’s electricity supply and export to East African countries.
As result, it is expected to be catalyst for people-to-people relations as well as trade between states of the region.
In an exclusive interview with ENA, Juba University Assistant Professor Ter Tongyik Majok said building a dam is of paramount importance for Ethiopia and crucial for regional integration.
“I believe building a dam for a great nation like Ethiopia is paramount. It is paramount for development, because if you want to industrialize the country you must have sufficient power.”
The South Sudanese scholar added that people can benefit from the dam because once it generates enough power Ethiopia will have companies that bring goods and services as well as economic growth to the people.
According to him, the dam will also improve trade exchange and East African countries would also benefit from power.
For the scholar, other countries that see the dam negatively should know that “each country has the right to benefit from its own resources.”
With regard to connecting the region with electric power and creating regional integration, Majok said power is very important in regional integration.
“As far as regional integration is concerned, countries in the region whoever have shortages in such resources can actually benefit from the dam,” he pointed out.
He noted that building the dam is therefore crucial for regional integration as all the neighboring countries can benefit from the dam.
“I believe regional integration is the only way for us to survive as a continent.”
The GERD has a storage capacity of about 74 billion cubic meters of water and about 6,450 MW power generating capacity upon completion.
Ethiopia has already spent over 100 billion birr on the construction of GERD.