Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
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Director General of the Office of the National Council for the Coordination of Public Participation to the Construction of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam /GERD/, Aregawi Berhe (PhD) stated that Ethiopia’s aspiration and commitment for development is best demonstrated through the unanimous support and contribution to the construction of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD). From the very inception, the GERD has been an attempt to answer what has been our generation’s quest for an equitable and reasonable utilization of the Abay River and other rivers contributing to Nile from Ethiopia.

The Government of Ethiopia recognizes that a partnership needs to be built with the diaspora to benefit both parties and has worked to grant significant rights and privileges to the diaspora since the establishment of the Ethiopian Expatriate Affairs (EEA) in 2002, and the Ethiopian Diaspora Agency later. The Ethiopian government has encouraged the diaspora to invest in the country both financially and through knowledge exchange to assist in developing the country and improving its fiscal situation. Over the past 10 years the Ethiopian diaspora has been supporting the construction of GERD both financially and diplomatically irrespective of the apparent political differences one may expect from the diaspora. However, the support has never seen such a massive growth until the first filling of the dam was materialized. The first filling of the GERD has not only accelerated the rate of support the Ethiopian diaspora has been making but also increased its motivation to the highest level.

It’s firmly believed that Sileshi is likely to play a more significant role in any bi-lateral or trilateral negotiations with the downstream countries as he was doing earlier. Most importantly, his longstanding and intensive experience in the field will undoubtedly help the country utilize its abundant water resource fairly, effectively and efficiently.
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