Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta has lauded the progress made towards the resolution of the stand-off between Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia on the utilization of the Nile River water.
Kenyatta who spoke on Tuesday evening during a virtual meeting of the African Union (AU) Bureau said the AU-led mediation process, in which Kenya holds observer status, has shown that Africa can find homegrown solutions to its challenges.
“This process has vividly shown that ‘African solutions to African problems’ is the way to go. We can resolve our disputes through negotiations and mediation within the framework of the African Union,” he said in a statement issued after the meeting.
The three countries – Ethiopia, Egypt and Sudan – have agreed to resume talks over the Grand Renaissance Dam reservoir, a mega hydroelectric power project upstream on the Blue Nile.
Abiy Ahmed Ali, Ethiopia’s prime minister said negotiations on Tuesday with Egypt and Sudan had paved the way for an agreement over the country’s hydroelectric dam on the Nile River’s tributaries.
Tuesday’s talks were the latest in a decade-long effort by the three countries to resolve differences over the project which has been a source of diplomatic tension since its construction began in Ethiopia in 2011.
Ethiopia hopes the 6,000MW dam is important for its economic growth and a vital source of energy that will turn it into the continent’s top hydropower supplier.
However, both Sudan and Egypt have expressed fears that the project will greatly reduce their access to water since they are downstream.
The Kenyan leader, however, cautioned the three countries against unilateral decisions that may derail the process of resolving the dispute.
“I urge all stakeholders to continue adhering to the commitment and to refrain from taking actions or making statements that may jeopardize the negotiation process and reverse the gains made so far,” he cautioned.
Ahmed of Ethiopia said his country fully supports the AU-led process to resolve the conflict.
He said Ethiopia looks forward to a comprehensive agreement that will earn all parties to the dispute a win-win outcome.
Sudan’s Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok called for a speedy resolution of outstanding legal and technical issues while President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi of Egypt said the negotiations should lead to a binding treaty. Enditem