A Tanzanian dam is in Egyptian hands Will "dam diplomacy" succeed in putting pressure on Ethiopia?

A Tanzanian dam is in Egyptian hands.. Will "dam diplomacy" succeed in putting pressure on Ethiopia? The Egyptian return to Africa comes through construction diplomacy and participation in development projects, especially in the Nile Basin countries, as a priority strategic target. Therefore, major Egyptian construction companies appeared in the construction cadre and infrastructure projects in the brown continent.  Participation in development has always been a way to a real, influential presence. The Egyptian withdrawal from development projects in Africa in the mid-1990s, following the assassination attempt on former Egyptian President Mubarak in Addis Ababa, was a harbinger of danger to Egyptian interests in its African expansion, as it is a national security linked to its first tributary of life, represented by the Nile River.  From here comes the Egyptian return to Africa through construction diplomacy and participation in development projects, especially in the Nile Basin countries, as a priority strategic target. Therefore, major Egyptian construction companies appeared in the construction cadre and infrastructure projects in the brown continent, especially in the Nile Basin countries, including Tanzania, In which Egyptian companies build a dam, it may be a return for Cairo to the African stadium.  African solutions to Africa's problems  This is an Egyptian principle established during Cairo's presidency of the African Union, based on the principle of strengthening its cooperation with the countries of the continent, through development projects in South Sudan, Uganda and Tanzania, specifically in the field of water and energy projects.  The imprint of the Egyptian partnership began in South Sudan through a grant that worked to establish two stations for measuring levels and disposal in the city of Mangla and Nimoli on the Sea of ​​the Mountain, in preparation for their operation, in addition to the establishment of 6 underground drinking water stations on February 5, 2020, which had been contracted with a specialized Egyptian company In 2019, the hydrogeological and geophysical survey was completed and the necessary studies were prepared, and the first well drilling began in the Coptic Hospital in Juba, according to a report by the Egyptian Ministry of Irrigation last April.  In Uganda, the Egyptian government announced in 2018 an agreement to establish 5 dams, and this project was launched with a capacity of no more than 10,000 cubic meters for the five dams, called "medicine tanks", also with an Egyptian grant of $9 million. Egypt also completed the first phase of a project Preventing the risks of flooding in Ksese County - western Uganda - and the preparation of its second phase, which aims to protect the county from the dangers of flooding and protect property and citizens.   In November 2018, the Egyptian Ministry of Irrigation confirmed, on the sidelines of its delegation’s attendance at the activities of the Sustainable Blue Economy Conference in Kenya, the start of activating a memorandum of understanding signed between the two countries in 2016 to implement water resources management and development projects in Kenya to provide drinking water and raise the technical and skill capacities of Kenyan technical cadres.  In implementation of the agreement, monitoring stations were established in the main rainfall catchments in Kenya, namely Lakes Victoria, Kyoga and Albert, and the project received international funding, and 180 underground wells were drilled in Kenya.  In Tanzania, 60 underground wells have been dug in different Tanzanian provinces, which suffer from water scarcity, and more than 120 thousand Tanzanians have benefited from these wells on average per well.  Egyptian companies and the Rufiji Dam in Tanzania  The Egyptian "Arab Contractors" company also contracted to design and build the Rufiji dam and power station in the Stigler Gorge area at a cost of $3.6 billion. The project was supposed to take three years to open in 2021, but the matter was delayed for another two years, according to Tanzania.  This project is considered one of the most vital projects in Tanzania, as the dam aims to generate a total power of 2,100 megawatts, via a high-voltage electric line, to be integrated into the national electricity grid.  The Tanzanian dam is 134 meters high, and its lake stores 34 billion cubic meters of water, covering an area of ​​1,350 square kilometers with a length of 100 km.  Egypt is also establishing a center for forecasting rain and climate changes within the framework of bilateral cooperation with the Democratic Republic of the Congo, to maximize the integrated management of water resources, in addition to training 437 African trainees through more than 35 courses in the field of management at the field level, design and maintenance of dams.  Dr. Amani Al-Taweel, advisor to the Al-Ahram Center for Political and Strategic Studies and an expert in African affairs, tells Arabi newsc that Egyptian participation in development projects in African countries in general represents an important return for Egypt to its African expansion, but the matter is “not to the required degree,” she said, adding that “on the Egyptian companies and Egyptian businessmen enter all areas of development in Africa.” She pointed out that the construction of an Egyptian company dam in Tanzania “is an indication of the change of Egypt’s strategy towards Africa and the diversity of its tools and mechanisms, a step that we cannot call (integrated dam diplomacy), because this is the only dam. Which has been implemented in an African country by Egypt, but Cairo cooperates with countries on the continent in matters related to irrigation and agriculture techniques.”   In her interview with Arabi news, Al-Taweel denied the idea of ​​"besieging Ethiopia" by participating in development projects in the continent of Africa, and stressed that restricting this Egyptian tendency to besieging another country is "a dwarfing of Egypt's strategy on its continent", because Africa was and remains an important issue for Egypt at the strategic level. “Regardless of Ethiopia and its dam,” she says.  The issue of the Renaissance Dam certainly has a central importance in Egypt’s strategy, according to the expert on African affairs, but in the end, Egypt has other interests, including “reducing the security threats represented by terrorist groups, as well as the security of the Red Sea and regional stability, in addition to the Renaissance Dam of course.” : "These objectives prompted Egypt to take strategic measures related to its military repositioning by signing security agreements with some countries of the continent, especially in the Nile Basin, as well as military concentrations at the entrance to the Red Sea and elsewhere."  Al-Taweel concluded her speech to Arabi news by saying: "Let us say that it is not required for any country to hold back another country, but what is required is the formation of stable bilateral relations, controlled by various tools that guarantee regional stability and the interests of both countries. Therefore, it is not one of Egypt's goals in its developmental move with African countries besieging anyone. Rather, it is to protect the national interests of Egypt first and foremost.”  An Egyptian presence after years of complacency  “The Egyptian role in Africa has been increasing in presence since 2014, as the Egyptian leadership became aware of the great danger of complacency in Egypt’s national security in Africa,” said Dr. Abbas Sharaki, the Egyptian professor of geology and water resources, in an interview with Arabi news, adding that Africa “does not represent Egypt has the Nile River or water security only, but other security issues and issues related to Egypt’s international weight, based on its weight on its continent.”  He added that Egypt's implementation of a dam in Tanzania is a "good step within the framework of Egypt's support for the development projects of its partners in Africa," pointing to the strong relations between Egypt and Tanzania, as the Egyptian Ministry of Irrigation has implemented many development projects there.  Sharaki explained that "the Stigler Dam is located on the Rufiji River, which is an inland river in Tanzania with a length of 600 km and an annual revenue of between 10 billion and 58 billion cubic meters, with an average of about 20 billion cubic meters annually," and stressed that this dam "has no negative impact on any A neighboring country to Tanzania, and therefore it represents a safe development without damage, unlike the Renaissance Dam, which severely affects the historical water share of Egypt.”  Sharaki added that it was the repercussions of the Corona virus that delayed the process of diverting the river to complete the construction of the dam and the installation of turbines, after it was planned to be completed in 2022.  Sharaki pointed out that Egypt needs the support of the Nile Basin countries to achieve its vision, pointing out that Cairo's diplomatic, political and economic moves in Africa are currently "legitimate and within the framework of preserving Egyptian national security from any potential threat, as well as the search of all countries of the world to enhance their interests and protect their security." ".  He stressed that Egypt has for many years lost its soft power arm in Africa after it was the master of the continent in the 1960s, but through an integrated strategy that moves with "slow diplomacy" to resolve the positions of the countries of the continent from supporting Ethiopia in the file of the Renaissance Dam to "dealing with the matter in terms of danger" Which it represents, not only as a development project as promoted by Addis Ababa, because Egypt does not reject any development move for the countries of the continent, as evidenced by its participation through its major companies in building dams and important projects in Africa, but that the development of the country is at the expense of the security and stability of other countries, this threatens An entire region, not just Egypt or Sudan.  It is noteworthy that the Egyptian “Arab Contractors” and “El Sewedy Electric” companies are responsible for building the Rufiji Dam in Tanzania, as the Egyptian government announced, through the Minister of Housing, on August 18, 2021, the start of installing the first parts of the first turbine, which will generate energy through the water of the dam. The dam's total number of turbines is 9, enough to generate 2,100 megawatts of electricity.

The Egyptian return to Africa comes through construction diplomacy and participation in development projects, especially in the Nile Basin countries, as a priority strategic target. Therefore, major Egyptian construction companies appeared in the construction cadre and infrastructure projects in the brown continent.

Participation in development has always been a way to a real, influential presence. The Egyptian withdrawal from development projects in Africa in the mid-1990s, following the assassination attempt on former Egyptian President Mubarak in Addis Ababa, was a harbinger of danger to Egyptian interests in its African expansion, as it is a national security linked to its first tributary of life, represented by the Nile River.

From here comes the Egyptian return to Africa through construction diplomacy and participation in development projects, especially in the Nile Basin countries, as a priority strategic target. Therefore, major Egyptian construction companies appeared in the construction cadre and infrastructure projects in the brown continent, especially in the Nile Basin countries, including Tanzania, In which Egyptian companies build a dam, it may be a return for Cairo to the African stadium.

African solutions to Africa's problems

This is an Egyptian principle established during Cairo's presidency of the African Union, based on the principle of strengthening its cooperation with the countries of the continent, through development projects in South Sudan, Uganda and Tanzania, specifically in the field of water and energy projects.

The imprint of the Egyptian partnership began in South Sudan through a grant that worked to establish two stations for measuring levels and disposal in the city of Mangla and Nimoli on the Sea of ​​the Mountain, in preparation for their operation, in addition to the establishment of 6 underground drinking water stations on February 5, 2020, which had been contracted with a specialized Egyptian company In 2019, the hydrogeological and geophysical survey was completed and the necessary studies were prepared, and the first well drilling began in the Coptic Hospital in Juba, according to a report by the Egyptian Ministry of Irrigation last April.

In Uganda, the Egyptian government announced in 2018 an agreement to establish 5 dams, and this project was launched with a capacity of no more than 10,000 cubic meters for the five dams, called "medicine tanks", also with an Egyptian grant of $9 million. Egypt also completed the first phase of a project Preventing the risks of flooding in Ksese County - western Uganda - and the preparation of its second phase, which aims to protect the county from the dangers of flooding and protect property and citizens.


In November 2018, the Egyptian Ministry of Irrigation confirmed, on the sidelines of its delegation’s attendance at the activities of the Sustainable Blue Economy Conference in Kenya, the start of activating a memorandum of understanding signed between the two countries in 2016 to implement water resources management and development projects in Kenya to provide drinking water and raise the technical and skill capacities of Kenyan technical cadres.

In implementation of the agreement, monitoring stations were established in the main rainfall catchments in Kenya, namely Lakes Victoria, Kyoga and Albert, and the project received international funding, and 180 underground wells were drilled in Kenya.

In Tanzania, 60 underground wells have been dug in different Tanzanian provinces, which suffer from water scarcity, and more than 120 thousand Tanzanians have benefited from these wells on average per well.

Egyptian companies and the Rufiji Dam in Tanzania

The Egyptian "Arab Contractors" company also contracted to design and build the Rufiji dam and power station in the Stigler Gorge area at a cost of $3.6 billion. The project was supposed to take three years to open in 2021, but the matter was delayed for another two years, according to Tanzania.

This project is considered one of the most vital projects in Tanzania, as the dam aims to generate a total power of 2,100 megawatts, via a high-voltage electric line, to be integrated into the national electricity grid.

The Tanzanian dam is 134 meters high, and its lake stores 34 billion cubic meters of water, covering an area of ​​1,350 square kilometers with a length of 100 km.

Egypt is also establishing a center for forecasting rain and climate changes within the framework of bilateral cooperation with the Democratic Republic of the Congo, to maximize the integrated management of water resources, in addition to training 437 African trainees through more than 35 courses in the field of management at the field level, design and maintenance of dams.

Dr. Amani Al-Taweel, advisor to the Al-Ahram Center for Political and Strategic Studies and an expert in African affairs, tells Arabi newsc that Egyptian participation in development projects in African countries in general represents an important return for Egypt to its African expansion, but the matter is “not to the required degree,” she said, adding that “on the Egyptian companies and Egyptian businessmen enter all areas of development in Africa.” She pointed out that the construction of an Egyptian company dam in Tanzania “is an indication of the change of Egypt’s strategy towards Africa and the diversity of its tools and mechanisms, a step that we cannot call (integrated dam diplomacy), because this is the only dam. Which has been implemented in an African country by Egypt, but Cairo cooperates with countries on the continent in matters related to irrigation and agriculture techniques.”


In her interview with Arabi news, Al-Taweel denied the idea of ​​"besieging Ethiopia" by participating in development projects in the continent of Africa, and stressed that restricting this Egyptian tendency to besieging another country is "a dwarfing of Egypt's strategy on its continent", because Africa was and remains an important issue for Egypt at the strategic level. “Regardless of Ethiopia and its dam,” she says.

The issue of the Renaissance Dam certainly has a central importance in Egypt’s strategy, according to the expert on African affairs, but in the end, Egypt has other interests, including “reducing the security threats represented by terrorist groups, as well as the security of the Red Sea and regional stability, in addition to the Renaissance Dam of course.” : "These objectives prompted Egypt to take strategic measures related to its military repositioning by signing security agreements with some countries of the continent, especially in the Nile Basin, as well as military concentrations at the entrance to the Red Sea and elsewhere."

Al-Taweel concluded her speech to Arabi news by saying: "Let us say that it is not required for any country to hold back another country, but what is required is the formation of stable bilateral relations, controlled by various tools that guarantee regional stability and the interests of both countries. Therefore, it is not one of Egypt's goals in its developmental move with African countries besieging anyone. Rather, it is to protect the national interests of Egypt first and foremost.”

An Egyptian presence after years of complacency

“The Egyptian role in Africa has been increasing in presence since 2014, as the Egyptian leadership became aware of the great danger of complacency in Egypt’s national security in Africa,” said Dr. Abbas Sharaki, the Egyptian professor of geology and water resources, in an interview with Arabi news, adding that Africa “does not represent Egypt has the Nile River or water security only, but other security issues and issues related to Egypt’s international weight, based on its weight on its continent.”

He added that Egypt's implementation of a dam in Tanzania is a "good step within the framework of Egypt's support for the development projects of its partners in Africa," pointing to the strong relations between Egypt and Tanzania, as the Egyptian Ministry of Irrigation has implemented many development projects there.

Sharaki explained that "the Stigler Dam is located on the Rufiji River, which is an inland river in Tanzania with a length of 600 km and an annual revenue of between 10 billion and 58 billion cubic meters, with an average of about 20 billion cubic meters annually," and stressed that this dam "has no negative impact on any A neighboring country to Tanzania, and therefore it represents a safe development without damage, unlike the Renaissance Dam, which severely affects the historical water share of Egypt.”

Sharaki added that it was the repercussions of the Corona virus that delayed the process of diverting the river to complete the construction of the dam and the installation of turbines, after it was planned to be completed in 2022.

Sharaki pointed out that Egypt needs the support of the Nile Basin countries to achieve its vision, pointing out that Cairo's diplomatic, political and economic moves in Africa are currently "legitimate and within the framework of preserving Egyptian national security from any potential threat, as well as the search of all countries of the world to enhance their interests and protect their security." ".

He stressed that Egypt has for many years lost its soft power arm in Africa after it was the master of the continent in the 1960s, but through an integrated strategy that moves with "slow diplomacy" to resolve the positions of the countries of the continent from supporting Ethiopia in the file of the Renaissance Dam to "dealing with the matter in terms of danger" Which it represents, not only as a development project as promoted by Addis Ababa, because Egypt does not reject any development move for the countries of the continent, as evidenced by its participation through its major companies in building dams and important projects in Africa, but that the development of the country is at the expense of the security and stability of other countries, this threatens An entire region, not just Egypt or Sudan.

It is noteworthy that the Egyptian “Arab Contractors” and “El Sewedy Electric” companies are responsible for building the Rufiji Dam in Tanzania, as the Egyptian government announced, through the Minister of Housing, on August 18, 2021, the start of installing the first parts of the first turbine, which will generate energy through the water of the dam. The dam's total number of turbines is 9, enough to generate 2,100 megawatts of electricity.

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