Conflicts in the Nile Basin and the Change of Power Balance: The Renaissance Dam Crisis

  • Dalia Malik Sakarya University, Turkey
Keywords: Renaissance Dam, Nile Basin, Nile Water Agreements, acquired rights, water security


In 2011, Ethiopia laid the foundation stone for the Great Ethiopian Renaissance
Dam. The size of the dam, its timing and how it was planned have both
sparked severe political disputes between Egypt and Ethiopia and inaugurated
a new stage in the Nile Basin countries’ relations in general and Egypt, Sudan,
and Ethiopia in particular. In April 2020, Ethiopia announced that it would
continue to complete the dam’s first phase of filling. In response, Egypt sent a
letter to the Security Council warning against the potential dangers of such
a move, pointing out that the decision contradicts what was stipulated in the
Declaration of Principles agreement that Egypt, Sudan, and Ethiopia signed
in Khartoum in March 2015. However, Ethiopia replied that it saw no reason
to delay filling the dam reservoir and challenges moved to another stage when
Ethiopia refused to see through the Washington-led negotiations at the end of
2019. Ethiopia was absent from the final agreement signed by Cairo on 28
February 2020. Sudan was reserved. The position of both Egypt and Ethiopia towards the Renaissance Dam issue draws attention to the changes of the power
balance in Africa.


Author Biography

Dalia Malik, Sakarya University, Turkey

PhD student