April 2017 marks 6 years since the construction of the famous Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) has commenced with 57 percent of the construction complete so far. The dam will be the eighth largest in the world upon completion of the project. Ethiopians hold the project dear and view it the construction of the dam as a true reflection of Ethiopia`s fighting spirit and a source of inspiration. Completion of the dam will benefit many livelihoods and will speed up Ethiopia`s socio-economic transformation.
Construction of The Grand Renaissance Dam has and is opening up employment opportunities in the construction sector with most of the youth in Ethiopia benefitting from the project. More than ten thousand people of many African nationalities most of them being Ethiopians are currently participating in the construction of the GERD. Africa`s soon to be largest dam has received backing from local Ethiopians and those in the diaspora technically and financially as they believe it is critical to Ethiopia`s development.
Once the construction of the GERD is complete, Ethiopia is expected to increase its energy production capacity. The dam will be Africa`s largest hydropower plant upon completion. Ethiopia has the ability to produce more than 1.3 million MW of carbon-free energy per annum. The Grand Renaissance hydropower plant at the dam will have the capability of generating more than 6000 MW. The electricity to be produced by The GERD upon completion will have a positive impact on and will support Ethiopia`s industrialization and socio-economic transformation. Ethiopia is targeting to be a middle-income country by 2025.
Benefits from a complete GERD are not only restricted to Ethiopia alone. Other countries will benefit once the project is complete. Sudan and Egypt are among the countries which are expected to share the spoils from a complete Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam. The two countries are expected to benefit in the areas of water storage which will boost their agricultural projects.