Nile River Should Not Be Source of Uncertainty - Ethiopian President

By Staff Reporter

President-Sahle-Work-UNSeptember 27, 2019 ( -- The use of Abay (Nile) River should not be a source of uncertainty and competitiveness among the Nile basin countries, said President Sahle-Work Zewdie of Ethiopia.

Addressing the 74th UN General Assembly at New York on Thursday September 26, 2019, President Sahelwork Zewdie said the River Nile would present a unique opportunity to strengthen trans-boundary cooperation among sisterly countries of the Nile basin countries.

The president, who made her speech in Amharic, may be the second for Ethiopian head of state to speak in Amharic after emperor Haileselassie, said ”Ethiopia strongly believes that the use of the Abay (Nile) waters should be on the basis of international law and on the principles of fairly and reasonably use of natural resources.”

She said Ethiopia strongly wants and continues to be committed to establish a legal and a multiparty framework in compliance with all members of the Nile basin countries which have established long history of relationship, interconnected in their civilizations and by the river Nile.

Technical issues related to the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam should be left for the concerned experts, said the president, who recalled the first inclusive and multidisciplinary cooperation framework agreement among the Nile basin countries came true last Sunday after 13 years of negotiations.

The president went on to say the necessity of trilateral support and encouragement for the technical experts to help them come up with evidence-based proposals which will be forwarded by the ministers of of Ethiopia, Sudan and Egypt.

“As we always say on the use of river Abay, there is no option except cooperation. We, all the Nile basin countries, should cooperate and ensure common and fair utilization of the river, the President said.

The president also raised Ethiopia’s unreserved troop’s contribution to the UN peacekeeping missions over the last 70 years, “I feel proud that the Ethiopian troops discharged their missions with heroic, high discipline, capability and sense of responsibility as well as courage. We are working to boost the role of women troops in the UN peace keeping operations in the future, she added.

Most regrettably, 65 percent of our people do not have access to electric service, said the president, who requested the UN to give Africa a permanent seat in the UN Security Council.

According to Sahelework, Ethiopia has registered encouraging results by embracing the 2030 development agenda of the UN sustainable development goals. She said her country is working to improve the livelihood of its people through expanding infrastructure facilities and attracting foreign direct investment.

“We are in the process of privatizing state-owned companies in an effort to create more jobs to the youth. We are implementing poor oriented and national projects using in house financial sources. Ethiopia is expected to register good economic growth this year too,” she claimed.

With the population of over 100 million, Ethiopia has been subjected to recurrent drought; hence it is high time for the world to act on adverse effects of climate change, the president added.

The Ethiopian President also spoke about Ethiopia’s ten-year green economic growth which involves development of forest resources. Accordingly the president disclosed the government’s plan to plant four billion tree seedlings in one and half years and, as part of this move last month, the nation has managed to plant 350 million tree seedlings in 12 hours, breaking the world record.

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