First Pretoria Declaration on GERD Conference

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June 27th, 2020

Pretoria, South Africa

We, Ethiopians and people of Ethiopian origin based in South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, Madagascar, Mozambique, Eswatini and Lesotho having joined the meeting convened on the 27th of June, 2020,

Expressing our deep appreciation to the Embassy of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia in Pretoria and the Ethiopian Professional and Academicians Association in

Southern Africa for successfully organizing this regional conference titled “Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam: Facts, Myths and Misinformation”

Thoroughly deliberating on three areas i.e. GERD as a National and Regional Treasure, the Nile River Basin and the Imperative for Sustainable Cooperation and Ethiopian Water Resources and International Relations as presented by government officials and scholars in the field,

Appreciating the following;

a) The fact that Blue Nile accounts for 70% of Ethiopia’s annual surface water, covers one-third of Ethiopia’s territory, caters for more than 40% of Ethiopia’s population, accounts for two-third of Ethiopia’s hydroelectric power potential, Ethiopia. is the source of 86% of the water and rich soil that cascades to Sudan and Egypt and that more than 60% of the 110 million Ethiopian population is living without access to modern energy sources, accompanied by rapidly increasing 19% energy demand every year;

 

b) The fact that accessing and utilizing the Nile water resources is not a matter of choice but is a matter of existential priority, as Ethiopia aspires to meet its current and future generations’ demands for energy, water and food security needs and to lift millions out of extreme poverty;

 

c) The fact that the GERD is a national hydropower project built solely, through the direct contributions of all Ethiopians, and without external assistance, since Egypt persistently blocked international financial institutions from supporting the construction of the dam, and Ethiopians who mobilized themselves across the country to support the construction of the project will truly guard and continue to support holistically the project including through scientific research until its completion, and beyond;

 

d) Our strong belief is that the Nile – with the right cooperation of all the riparian countries has the potential to contribute to lift the population of the basin countries out of poverty;

 

e) And commending the undertakings of the Ethiopian government in the diplomatic avenues to defend the legitimate rights of the Ethiopian people to utilize our natural resources;

 

f) Furthermore we commend the efforts of the Ethiopian government exerted to ensure that the construction of the GERD is carried out based on the internationally recognized principles of “equitable and rational utilization” and “not causing significant harm” and within the spirit of cooperation which are also provided for in the Declaration of Principles on the GERD signed between the governments of Ethiopia, Sudan and Egypt in Khartoum on 23rdof March 2015.

 

g) Appreciating the recognition by many Africans that, Egypt has been creating unnecessary obstructions throughout the negotiations to maintain its unfair privileges on the Nile; based on the old hegemonic notion of historic rights, current use, and colonial treaties to which Ethiopia is not a party.

 

h) Taking into account the fact that the Turkey used to pay 50,000 gold coins to Ethiopia for the use of the Nile River water when it was ruling Egypt as well as the annual royalty payment of US$50 million by South Africa to Lesotho; Egypt should have provided the leading support of the construction of the GERD as a non-consumptive mega dam that can also provide not only electricity but also clean water by agreeing on fair and balanced mutually beneficial sharing from the reservoir by applying quality research and science rather than divisive politics to complete the GERD with knowledge on evaporation, irrigation, droughts, floods and all climate risks, hazards and any challenges with full collaboration.

 

Having noticed the above facts, the Participants of the Conference have resolved the following:

  1. We call upon all Ethiopians and Ethiopians by birth in all walks of life to closely follow the GERD negotiation process and stand united and firm more than ever, as. Ethiopians shall repeat the second Adwa victory by building the GERD by their own resources and mobilizing all talents, while fiercely combating against unnecessary diplomatic and political escalations emanating based on colonial legacies.
  2. We strongly support Ethiopia’s position to start filling the GERD in line with the project schedule and in accordance with the provisions of the Declaration of Principles on the GERD.
  3. We also strongly request all Nile Basin Initiative Countries to finalize the Nile Basin Cooperative Framework Agreement that embrace fair, equitable and cooperative utilization of water resources with no significant harm to parties.
  4. We call upon the people of Egypt to play a constructive and an African role in advising their governments to recognize the fact that as the major source of the water and soil that flows to Egypt, the full rights of Ethiopia should be recognized as well as standing for continental and international principles of cooperation and refrain from dwelling with/on unjust colonial treaties.
  5. We strongly condemn any efforts of diplomatic and political escalations and misinformation aimed (at forcing Ethiopia) to kneel down under the hidden agenda of Egypt that totally ignores the spirit of African Union and its subsidiary arrangements.
  6. We strongly call upon the government of Egypt to stop immediately nourishing colonial legacies and refrain from demanding to create a hidden colony by introducing a no-objection scheme in Ethiopia’s future development endeavours.
  7. We warmly welcome the participation of the Government of the Republic of South Africa, the Current Chair of the Africa Union, as an observer, in the on-going negotiations and we express our conviction that South Africa understands the legitimate rights of Ethiopia to use its own resources and not to succumb to colonial agreements that Ethiopia has not been a party to.
  8. We call upon the continental and international community and respective organs (Africa Union, United Nations, United States of America, European Union, the Arab league, Russia, and all the Global South etc.) to exert pressure on the government of Egypt to stop escalation and misinformation and come back to trilateral negotiations and African platforms for sustainable and trust-based solutions.
  9. We strongly oppose any role of observers or countries that aim to undermine the sovereignty of Ethiopia and attempt(s) to grant Nile waters hegemony to Egypt.
  10. Recalling the crucial role that Ethiopia played in the anti-colonial and anti-apartheid struggles of African brothers and sisters, we express our firm conviction that Africa and the rest of the world will stand by Ethiopia at the time we are relentlessly defending our sovereign right to use our own natural resource and thereby address the legitimate demands of our people to development and appreciating GERD is a role model towards African capabilities.

Done in Pretoria, on the 27th of June 2020

በደቡባዊ አፍሪቃ የሚገኙ ኢትዮጵያዊያንና ትውልደ ኢትዮጵያውያን በታላቁ የኢትዮጵያ ህዳሴ ግድብ ዙሪያ በተደረገዉ ዉይይት ያስተላለፉት የአቋም መግለጫ

7 Comments

  1. Sudan and Egypt are only receiving 3.7% of the Nile basin water. Ethiopia needs electricity but has far more water than its people can ever use. Sudan and Egypt would like to see Ethiopia develops and will benefit from a developed and advanced Ethiopia as all three countries are African and can share resources and trade. Ethiopia’s position is about power on more than 150 million Africans living in Sudan and Egypt. The Ethiopian government and its media made it look like water is an issue for Ethiopia, when it is not. Water, however, is a matter of life and death for Sudan and Egypt. The people of Sudan and Egypt did not divert the Nile to their countries, it was the mighty creator that provided them with less than 4% of the Nile basin water and provided Ethiopia with 96% of the Nile basin water. Ethiopians: Thank the mighty and make peace. Ethiopian news media talks about “Colonial era” agreements, when in fact Ethiopia was not colonized but had a few years of Italian occupation, in which no treaties between Egypt, Sudan, and Ethiopia were crafted. Please get your facts straight.
    Ethiopians: Live and let live.

  2. The so called Harry, I doubt that is your real name, even for a lie there is limit because you need to defend your lies. First, can you please tell me what the annual volume of Nile is since Egypt and Sudan signed an agreement to get 80 BCM of rhe Nile water between them? Though Sudan gets a meager portion of it. If that is just 3.7 % of the Nile it must be atlantic. Secondly Egypt has much much more water resource, to be exact 500 % more, than Ethiopia. The stand taken by Egypt is wickedness not demand for water. How many fun water parks do they have? Any country who has water shortage play with it. I wonder how you sleep at night with such a conscience, that is if you have one. Your blatant lie will be exposec soon

  3. Mr Allen if Sudan and Egypt get only 3.7% of Nile water, Ethiopia must be under several meters of water. The reality is that, we hear there is a constant famine in Ethiopia. Millions of people in Ethiopia needs food aid each and every year. We hear famine in Ethiopia as if famine and Ethiopia is synonymous. So, there must be a constant shortage of water in Ethiopia or/and constant civil war sponsored and financed by none other than Egypt including landlocking Ethiopia. About colonialism, Ethiopia never gave up ownership of her water and has no obligation to any treaty that made whether Ethiopia colonized or not the same as Egypt has nationalized Suez Canal from countries who constructed and owned it breaking a her promise she made before she became English trophy land. If there is any confusion, ask your colonial master. As we speak Egypt make around $25,000,000.00 per day from Suez Canal that she took from Europeans. Listen to me my African brother, stop hurting the God-fearing people of Ethiopia and the horn and work with them for mutual benefit. Otherwise, when karma shows up in Egypt, Nile will fail to show up in Aswan.

  4. Harry,
    It looks like you are saying as if Ethiopia’s water is Egypt’s water.
    About agreements: what Egypt has with the British won’t govern in Ethiopia.
    The solution: Egypt must recognize this is a different time and work with the major contributor to the Nile. Denial won’t take her far.

  5. Write your comment…Nice to hear such an interesting lie from Mr. Harry. First of all, is Harry your real name, or your lie starts from your name?
    It is a known fact that Egypts uses 80 billion mc of Nile water and the rest is used by Sudan. Are saying that 80 bmc is only 3.7% of the Nile water? Or are you kidding?

    Secondly, though 86% of the Nile water originates from Ethiopia, till now Ethiopia used nothing from it. On the contrary, more than 60% of the 110 million Ethiopians do not get electric light as opposed to Egypt that is 100% electrified. In addition, as Primier Abiy Ahmed (Dr.) rightly said Ethiopia has been tired of begging for wheat due to the recurrent drought so that using the Nile water is a question of sustenance for Ethiopia now; it is not a mattet of choice.
    On the other hand, Ethiopia has never claimed to use the Nile water alone. And, Ethiopia has never intended to jeopardise the lives of Egyptians snd the Sudanese as you tried to portray.
    please, as my coleagues rightly said, try to be abided to your concise, if you have any. Do not cheat your self and there by mislead others.
    May God, The Almighty heal you from your evil out look.

  6. Nice to hear such an interesting lie from Mr. Harry. First of all, is Harry your real name, or your lie starts from your name?
    It is a known fact that Egypt uses 80 billion mc of Nile water and the rest is used by Sudan. Are you saying that 80 bmc is only 3.7% of the Nile water? Or are you kidding?

    Secondly, though 86% of the Nile water originates from Ethiopia, till now Ethiopia used nothing from it. More than 60% of the 110 million Ethiopians do not get electric light as opposed to Egypt that is 100% electrified. In addition, as Primier Abiy Ahmed (Dr.) rightly said, Ethiopia has been tired of begging for wheat due to the recurrent drought so that using the Nile water is a question of sustenance for Ethiopia now; it is not a mattet of choice.
    On the other hand, Ethiopia has never claimed to use the Nile water alone. And, Ethiopia has never intended to jeopardise the lives of Egyptians and the Sudanese as you tried to portray.
    please, as my coleagues rightly said, try to be abided to your concise, if you have any. Do not cheat your self and there by mislead others.
    May God, The Almighty heal you from your evil out look.

  7. hey harry…

    i live in australia & am not of african descent but can still see that you must be an egyptian shill working for the most ruthless dictator egypt has ever seen, yes, even worse than mubarak (sisi – being mirror image of isis is not coincidence).

    how many dams & reservoirs does egypt have? how many dams & reservoirs does sudan have??

    egypt was once the wheat captial of the whole world, but she let foreign interference & greed take over for quick profits to the elites & now must import 90% of its wheat, what a shame & loss to her people

    if egypt can’t manage its water, that is egypt’s problem that ethiopians cannot fix

    before you accuse ethiopia of somehow taking what already belongs to her, why not get your facts right?

    peace

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