Former FM: Ethiopia has no intentions of blocking Nile water

Ethiopia is not building its Renaissance Dam in order to block water from the Nile from reaching Egypt, former Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit said on Sunday.

However, because Ethiopia will fill the reservoir in only three years, Egypt will be unable to reach its quota of Nile water, Aboul Gheit added in a television interview on OnTV. "They must fill it over a longer period of time in order to allow Egypt to attain its quota of Nile water," he said.

Countries such as Ethiopia, Kenya, and Uganda need to generate electricity. Egypt has helped Kenya dig 150 wells, at a cost of between US$40 and US$120 each, Aboul Gheit said. Egypt has helped Uganda on similar projects, he added.

Aboul Gheit believes that Egypt must demand that Ethiopia fill the dam in a way that does not infringe upon its quota of water, and he emphasized the importance of good relations with African countries.