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The Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) (Photo credit: Hellen Natu)
August 1st 2016, saw a visit to the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) that was organized by the Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI). Representatives of the visit included the team from the Media Houses of the Eastern Nile Countries of Egypt, Ethiopia, South Sudan and Sudan; the Nile Basin Initiative’s - Eastern Nile Technical Regional Office (ENTRO), the NBI Secretariat; and the Nile Basin Discourse (NBD). NBD was represented by the NBD’s General Assembly representative from Egypt Ms Souzan Mohamed Zaki and the Regional Manager Ms. Hellen Natu. The visit was to observe and question the realities on the ground and develop a constructive media approach on the Eastern Nile.
Prior to the meeting, the group benefited from a number of presentations by experts.

According to Eng. Semegnew Bekele, the GERD - Project Manager, the GERD is to be the 8th biggest in the world. It has a 1,870 m long and 145 m high concrete dam, with spillways and a saddle dam. The reservoir area will cover 1,874 square kilometres at full supply level of 640 meters above sea level. It is being constructed for the purpose of generating electricity with total installed capacity of 6,000 MW. In addition, it is supposed to increase job opportunities, with outreach programs that reduce poverty and vulnerability taking in consideration gender issues.

With the GERD in focus, the NBD is keen on carrying the message vertically and horizontally through the pivotal points of messaging engagements towards (i) nurturing Nile cooperation and (ii) contributing towards participatory approach to development, fostering accountability and speed in response to emerging issues of development by governments and local people.
In a presentation made by the NBD Regional Manager, she stressed on the role of media and informed participants that in the NBD Strategy 2012 – 2017, media appears in strategic direction that establishes the Nile Media Platform. Also NBD’s network structure has involved media organizations that are active members of the network.  At this point in time, the NBD took the opportunity to announce the on-coming bi-annual platform of discourse and experience-sharing on emerging issues of cooperation and development on the Nile and beyond; the “Nile Basin Discourse Summit”.  
For more information on the GERD visit please download some of presentations here:

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