US hosts talks to resolve Nile dam dispute

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Foreign ministers from Egypt, Ethiopia, and Sudan are in the US capital of Washington DC for Wednesday’s crunch talks on the controversial building of a mega-dam along the River Nile.

The Grand Renaissance dam under construction in northern Ethiopia will become when completed, Africa’s largest hydroelectric power station.

But Egypt fears the project will allow Ethiopia to control the river’s flow.

The latest round of talks, to be mediated by the US, follows tough positions taken by the two countries that have seen previous meetings end without progress.

At the center of the dispute are plans to fill up the mega-dam.

Ethiopia wants to do it in six years; Egypt has proposed a ten-year period fearing the project will allow Ethiopia to control the River Nile’s flow.

Egypt, which relies on the Nile for 80% of its water, is worried that the dam will greatly affect its already scarce water supply.

Once completed, the $4bn (£3bn) dam will be the biggest on the continent as Ethiopia positions itself to become Africa’s largest energy exporter.

But the construction has been affected by constant delays and it is not clear if it will be operational by the 2021 deadline set by the government.

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