A new era of cooperation on the Nile River

Kevin Wheeler, DPhil candidate at the Environmental Change Institute, presented his work on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam at Chatham House of the Royal Institute of International Affairs.

The workshop, held on 25 March 2015, brought together experts to discuss infrastructure developments in the Horn of Africa and whether governments are working with local communities to balance the costs and benefits of these projects.

Kevin’s talk ‘The Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam and regional energy security’ was particularly timely given the well-publicised ‘Declaration of Principles’ signed between Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia last week over future management of the Nile. Now the attention of the region is shifting to how the new Ethiopian dam might be operated and how this might positively or negatively affect the downstream countries of Sudan and Ethiopia.

Kevin presented potential strategies of filling and operating the dam, which is located on the Blue Nile River, and how this new infrastructure might meet the needs and development objectives of these countries. His DPhil research explores the costs and benefits of various degrees of coordinated management of Nile reservoirs, and how these potential agreements might be affected by climate change.