AFRICA/EGYPT - Dam of the Renaissance, the Churches support agreed and beneficial solutions for Egypt and Ethiopia

Monday, 5 September 2022 oriental churches   ecumenicalism  


Cairo (Agenzia Fides) - The Coptic Church and the Orthodox Church of Ethiopia continue to put their ties of ecclesial communion at the service of the ongoing political negotiations between Egypt and Ethiopia on the controversial "Renaissance Dam", known internationally as GERD (Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam). In recent days, the Coptic Orthodox Patriarch received a delegation from the Ethiopian Orthodox Church in Cairo, expressing on that occasion his hope that the negotiations respond to the legitimate needs of all the countries crossed by the Nile in a fair and agreed manner . On that occasion, Pope Tawadros recalled the close historical, cultural and also spiritual ties that unite Egypt and Ethiopia, ties that are somehow objectively represented by the common dependence of both countries on the waters of the longest river in the world.
The delegation of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church, composed of Abuna Yusef, Metropolitan Archbishop of Bale, and various superiors of monasteries, is making a pilgrimage together with a group of deacons, monks and nuns to places and monuments important to Christian memory and linked to Coptic spirituality. During the meeting, Anba Yusef invited Pope Tawadros to visit Ethiopia again.
The Great Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, built by Addis Ababa on the Nile, is according to the Cairo government a "vital issue" for Egypt and its people. Through the negotiations, the goal is to reach a binding legal agreement that allows Ethiopia to develop while preserving Egypt's rights.
The dam represents the largest hydroelectric power generation facility on the entire African continent. The project, entrusted to the Italian construction company Salini, began in 2011. The filling of the reservoir allows the production of 6,000 megawatts of electricity.
The choice of Addis Ababa has from the beginning fueled tensions with Egypt and also with Sudan, countries that fear facing a drastic decrease in the supply of water resources essential for the life and economy of their respective populations.
The Ethiopian Orthodox Church was jurisdictionally linked to the Coptic Patriarchate of Alexandria until 1959, when it was recognized as an autocephalous Church by the Coptic Patriarch Cyril VI. (GV) (Agenzia Fides, 5/9/2022)