History in the Making

The movers and shakers of Ethiopian politics, including Deputy Prime Minister Demeke Mekonnen, right, and Minister of Water, Irrigation & Energy (MoWIE), Alemayehu Tegenu, middle, take pride in their decision to defy conventional attitudes and initiate Ethiopia’s mega hydro-power project, the Great Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), with an installed power generation capacity of 6,000Mw. In celebrating the fourth year anniversary of the starting of the construction, they seem to think that their decision to go ahead with the project, regardless of the diplomatic, economic and political headwinds, was indeed the right one. Of course, it was heartbreaking for them to lose the chief architect of their policies, the late Prime Minister Meles Zenawi but they also succeeded in consolidating their support base; persuading the historic rival and utmost opponent of the dam, Egypt; and keeping the construction work on schedule. The point man in all this is Simegnew Bekele, left, project manager of the GERD. Leveraging the political, social and diplomatic success the project has obtained over the past four years, Simegnew’s team works around the clock to realise what is considered to be a history making project with high stakes. As the project work has reached 42pc, lighting the candles seems to be justifiable.


Published on April 6, 2015 [ Vol 15 ,No 779]



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