Egyptian president Abdel Fattah al-Sisi recently met with the president of Rwanda, Paul Kagame during a strategic visit, where the two are reported to have discussed the controversial Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) project.
The GERD conflict is part of a long-running feud between Egypt and Sudan, the Nile’s downstream states, and Ethiopia and the upstream riparians, over access to the Nile’s waters, which are considered a lifeline for millions of Egyptians and Sudanese, according to The Brookings Institute. Despite the severe objections, Ethiopia continues to build the dam, claiming that the hydropower project will considerably enhance livelihoods throughout the region.
The meeting saw a contract of individual discussions followed by extensive discussions between the delegates of the two countries, where the Egyptian president welcomed president Kajami, to show his appreciation of the historical relations shared between the two brother countries, and how committed the North African country is to strengthening strategic cooperation with Rwanda in both areas, according to the official spokesman on behalf of the presidency of Egypt.
“The president of Egypt also insisted on supporting the development needs of Rwanda in the infrastructure, health and education sectors, by maximizing the investments of Egyptian specialized companies that have gained ancient experience and experience in those fields, as well as transferring experiences and building capabilities through the courses and grants provided by Egypt to contribute to construction the Rwandan cadres,” the statement said.
“On his side, president Kajami expressed his appreciation for his great country for its extended and distinctive historical relations with Egypt, confirming Rwanda’s keenness to develop such relations in various fields, for the name of trade and economic cooperation. He also expressed his country’s interest in the great technical support that Egypt offers to Rwandese cadres in the fields of capacity building, and getting support for companies Egyptians working in infrastructure; especially in light of the ambitious development agenda that Rwanda seeks to implement.”
President Kagame also noted the significant role that Egypt will play in terms of “high levels of peace and security”, namely in the country’s positions in working towards the stability of the Great Lakes, the Nile Basin and East Africa.
“The meeting was approaching a discussion on the latest regional developments of mutual interest, especially regarding the issue of the Renaissance Dam,” added the official spokesman. Here it was agreed that both nations would intensify coordination over the coming period on this sensitive and vital issue.
“In this regard, it is necessary to reach a legal agreement on filling and running the Nahda Dam within a proper time frame, to enhance regional security and stability, based on international law rules and Security Council resolutions,” the spokesperson added.
“The ways of achieving economic integration and development between the Nile Basin countries were also reviewed, where the importance of engaging in a constructive and effective dialogue was agreed to strengthen strategic cooperation between the Nile basin countries.”