East Africa: No Cheap Power for EA Yet As Ethiopian Dam Project Goes Into Brownout
East African countries that were banking on Ethiopia for cheap electricity could be forced back to the drawing board given the uncertainties on the future of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam.
Although Ethiopia has marketed the dam as the most successful homegrown infrastructure project in the region, largely because it is being funded from local resources, a critical assessment by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has lifted the lid on the challenges facing the project and cast doubt over its completion.
In his assessment, the liberal and reform-minded PM castigated public officials overseeing the project over their "incompetence," and a military-linked firm for failing to supply vital components, which has caused delays and exposed the government to demands for compensation by the Italian contractor, Salini Impregilo.
Dr Abiy then went ahead to terminate the contract of state-owned Metals and Engineering Corporation (Metec) for the supply and installation of the hydraulic and electromechanical components.