February 20, 2022 (GMN) – Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed announced that the second turbine at its controversial mega-dam on the Blue Nile is already generating electricity.

Congratulation to Ethiopia! The dream has come true indeed. The Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), began generating electricity from its giant hydropower dam on a Nile River tributary, a project it sees as key to its economic development but that has stirred tensions with downstream neighbors.

The Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam can now generate 700 megawatts, authorities said Sunday at a ceremony in Guba, near the border with Sudan, that was attended by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed.

The $4.2-billion (3.7 billion euro) project (GERD) is ultimately expected to produce more than 5,000 megawatts of electricity, more than doubling Ethiopia's electricity output.

Ethiopia had initially planned output of around 6,500 megawatts but later reduced its target.

"The newly generated electricity from the GERD could help revive an economy that has been devastated by the combined forces of a deadly war, rising fuel prices, and the Covid-19 pandemic," said Addisu Lashitew of the Brookings Institution in Washington.

The dam lies on Blue Nile River in the Benishangul-Gumuz region in western Ethiopia, not far from the border with Sudan.

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