Ethiopia accepts U.S. mediation offer over dam dispute


FILE PHOTO: Building site machines stand on the construction site of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam in Guba in the North West of Ethiopia, 24 November 2017./ (Getty Images)

Ethiopia has agreed to a U.S. mediation offer to help resolve a dispute with Egypt over its Grand Renaissance Dam.

The country had earlier declined the offer insisting the issue did not need external interference.

BBC reports an Ethiopian government spokesman to say foreign affairs ministers of Ethiopia, Egypt and Sudan will meet in Washington for the crunch talks but a date is yet to be set.

Cairo has long expressed fears that building the $5 billion dam will threaten water supplies that have fed Egypt’s agriculture and economy for thousands of years.

Ethiopia on the other hand hopes the dam will help make it Africa’s biggest power exporter, and has allayed fears that the dam will threaten Egypt’s water supply.

Ethiopia PM Abiy and President el-Sisi have met on many occasions previously, but a deal remains elusive. Both have however expressed confidence that the dispute will be resolved amicably.

Once completed, the Grand Renaissance Dam will be the biggest in Africa.