Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Impact Of Ethiopia’s Gibbe Dam Project (by BY DR ALEX O. AWITI)

(Jan 16, 2013, the Star)--We are species of self-professed fixers: our forbears domesticated plants and animals and liberated our kind from hunting and gathering; when natural capacity waned the genius of Haber and Bosch gave us inorganic fertilizers; Louis Pasteur advanced the germ theory and revolutionized microbiology and medicine.

In keeping with the tradition of our progenitors, the Ethiopian government is determined to fix chronic poverty and end decades of economic stagnation. According to the African Development Bank Ethiopia’s growth is strong with real GDP growth at or near double digits in six successive years. The Ethiopian leadership sees itself as engaged in an African rendition of the “Great Leap Forward”.

Ethiopia’s Agricultural Transformation Agency is on course to transform a country that just two decades ago was the face of famine into Africa’s breadbasket. And Ethiopia's investment in hydropower is further changing the equation. Ethiopia is on track to complete mega dam projects, which will enhance its dominance on the East African Power market.

Gibbe III Dam on the Omo River will be critical to driving and sustaining Ethiopia’s economic renaissance. It is one of the biggest hydroelectric projects in the world with the expected capacity to generate 1,870 Mega Watts of power.

There are plans to export 400 megawatts to neighboring Kenya. It is the dominant view of Ethiopia’s political that areas like the Lower Omo Basin can only be transformed by replacing traditional pastoral systems with large-scale irrigation to support large-scale agro-industries. Read more from the Star »

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