Ethiopia Celebrates completion of the first phase of the GERD

5 Aug 2020

A key historical moment was celebrated when the first-year filling of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam was achieved, with no effect at all on the downstream flow of the Nile River, or the ‘Abay’ as it is known in Ethiopia. The filling of the Dam was made possible by a particularly heavy rainy season, which is ongoing.

The news was announced on 19th July and brought joy and a great sense of satisfaction to Ethiopians, from rich to relatively poor, most of whom had contributed to the construction of the Dam, according to their means, by investing in Bonds. Senior government officials congratulated the public on their invaluable contribution and spoke of the transformative nature of the GERD.

This satellite image shows the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam on 28th July.

President Sahle Work Zewde commented that July 19, 2020 will forever remain an historic day for Ethiopia and Ethiopians. “Congratulations! she said. “We are translating our dreams into reality.” She recalled that generations of Ethiopians and former leaders had sought to utilize the Nile waters but failed because of “innumerable obstacles”. “Despite failures,” she said, “they were rightfully hopeful that future generations of Ethiopians will one day build a dam on the river.

The current generation has fulfilled the dreams of its forefathers. Those who were doubtful have seen the results today. As long as we utilize our resources and potential with unity and commitment, nothing would be impossible to achieve.”

The President added, “Our utilization of the Nile waters creates an opportunity to further strengthen cross-border relations among neighbouring countries. The development of the dam has reached a point of no return, a triumph for all stakeholders who have been trying hard to build peace and ensure security in the region.” The president concluded, “We should not forget that we have a lot to do to achieve our dreams of development. Let us think big and aim to reach the stars. No challenge stands for long if we are united and work together.”

Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed said:

“Ethiopians have proved that they know how to execute nationally focused projects. I think the world will surely understand that the dam is a turning point for Ethiopia’s move towards standing on its own two feet and beating poverty.”

The Prime Minister stressed that “the dam will benefit the lower riparian countries, and Ethiopia has no intention of harming Sudan and Egypt during the construction and operation of the dam.” He extended his gratitude to the millions who had raised funds and to those who had participated in negotiations. The PM also praised former Ethiopian Prime Ministers for their contribution to the success of the dam.

Ethiopia’s Minister of Water, Irrigation and Energy, Dr Seleshi Bekele, was also among the first government officials to congratulate Ethiopians. “The first phase of the filling of the Dam was successfully completed, letting the reservoir hold the required 4.9 billion cubic metres of water that flows from the top of the dam. This was achieved without interrupting the continuous flow of water to the lower basin, and is a major milestone that will enable us to generate two turbines next year.”

On 2nd August, Ethiopians at home and abroad voiced their support to the GERD at events held under the theme, “Our Voice for Our Dam”. Thousands flooded the streets of Addis Ababa dressed in national dress, waving Ethiopia’s flag and holding up banners. People in cars honked their horns, others played loud music, and danced in public spaces to mark the occasion. Similar events were held in other cities in Ethiopia.

Ethiopians celebrate the first filling of the GERD in Addis Ababa. Photo credit: Abinet Teshome

Speaking on the occasion, Deputy Prime Minister, Demeke Mekonnen, called on the public to rally behind the dam and support the completion of its construction.

“Today is a date in which we celebrate the beginning of the final chapter in our dam’s construction…We want the construction to be completed soon and begin solving our problems once and for all.”

Here in London, diplomats and staff joined the merriment at an event on 3rd August.

Speaking on the occasion, Deputy Head of Mission, Amb. Ababi Demissie, noted the momentous achievement and thanked Embassy staff for their commitment and contribution towards the GERD. He also appreciated the Diaspora’s support, dedication and contribution towards the construction of the Dam.

Urging them to stand together for Ethiopia’s principled stand over the construction of the Dam, he added “I look forward to seeing the final conclusion of the GERD, which will benefit millions of Ethiopians and people in the wider region.”

Latest News

Browse all
በኤፕሪል 1973 ወደ ዩናይትድ ኪንግደም በረራውን ቦይንግ 720-ቢ አውሮፕላን በመጠቀም በሳምንት ለሁለት ቀናት የጀመረው የኢትዮጵያ አየር መንገድ በአሁኑ ወቅት አጅግ ዘመናዊ የሆኑ ኤርባስ 350 እና ቢ787 ድሪምላይነር አውሮፕላኖችን በመጠቀም በሳምንት ለአስር ጊዜያት በቀጥታ በረራ እያካሄደ መሆኑ ተመልክቷል፡፡ በዚህም ከአስር ሺህ በላይ መንገደኞችን ወደ 60 አለም አቀፍ መዳረሻዎች እያጓጓዘ መሆኑን በዩናይትድ ኪንግደም እና አየርላንድ የአየር መንገዱ ጽ/ቤት አስታውቋል፡፡ በለንደን ሂትሮ እና…
23 Nov 2023
የኢትዮጵያ አየር መንገድ ወደ ዩናይትድ ኪንግደም የሚያደርገውን በረራ በሳምንት ወደ አስር ጊዜያት ማሳደጉን አስታወቀ፡፡
On the sidelines of the Global Food Security Summit the Ethiopian Ambassador to UK H.E. Ambassador Teferi Melesse Desta met with British International Investment and AgDevCo to discuss potential investment and collaboration in Ethiopia. The Ambassador commended the work done with EthioChicken and explained the robust potential Ethiopia has attract even more investment.
21 Nov 2023
Ambassador Teferi met with BII and AgDevCo
We are excited to announce the inaugural flight of Ethiopian Airlines from Addis Ababa to Gatwick Airport landed earlier today! This new route marks an important milestone in Ethiopian Airlines commitment to providing convenient and seamless travel options for passengers between the UK and Ethiopia. We look forward to welcoming you on board as we connect the vibrant city of…
21 Nov 2023
Ethiopian Airlines Started new route to London Gatwick Airport.
“We have no intention of threatening the sovereignty of any nation but we would like a rules based access to the Red Sea. Our request is to initiate discussions towards sustainable solutions.” “What we seek to accomplish as a nation requires clarity of thought. It also requires hard work on a daily basis. Although there are many issues contributing to…
14 Nov 2023
PM Abiy Ahmed Responds to MP’s
For all diaspora scholars interested in participating in technical and vocational colleges' short-term knowledge and skill transfer programs. Click the link for further detail:  or Download the PDF format: Document.
8 Nov 2023
Notice for Diaspora Scholars
ከ 184 በላይ የአለም ሀገራት በተሳተፉበትና በሚሊዮኖች የሚቆጠሩ ጎብኚዎች ፣ አለም አቀፍ እውቅና ያላቸው የተለያዩ ሀገራት አሰጎብኚዎች እና የጉዞ ጸሀፍት በተገኙበት በዚሁ አለም አቀፍ የጉዞ የገበያ ማእከል ኢትዮጵያ አለም አቀፍ እውቅና ካገኙ የቱሪስት ሀብቶቿ ጀምሮ አዳዲስ የቱሪስት መዳረሻዎቿን አስተዋውቃለች፡፡ የቱሪዝም ሚኒስቴር ሚኒስትር አምባሳደር ናሲሴ ጫሊ ፣ የኢትዮጵያ አየር መንገድ ፣የክልል ቱሪዝም ቢሮዎች ፣ ከ 16 በላይ የኢትዮጵያዊያን አስጎብኚ ድርጅቶች፣ ዳያስፖራውና…
7 Nov 2023
ኢትዮጵያ አዳዲስና ጥንታዊ የቱሪስት ሀብቷን ለንደን ኤክሴል በሚገኘው አለም አቀፍ የጉዞ ገበያ ማእከል ላይ አስተዋወቀች፡፡
The 42nd World Travel Market London 2023 Officially kicked off today at ExCeL London with the presence of H.E. Nasise Challi Jira of Ministry of Tourism-Ethiopia, H.E. Ambassador Teferi Melesse Desta of Embassy of Ethiopia, London, Mr. Henok from Ethiopian Airlines, Hailemelekot Mamo, v/p ET Holidays and Digital services and different tour operators from Ethiopia. It's being visited by multitude…
6 Nov 2023
World Travel Market 2023
Scholars, Black History authorities, dignitaries, and influential individuals from the United Kingdom convened at the Ethiopian Embassy in London to mark a momentous occasion – the official registration and recognition of the Global Black History, Heritage, and Education Centre (GBHHEC) in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Ambassador Teferi Melesse, addressing the gathering, underscored the profound significance of this historic moment, not only…
28 Oct 2023
GBHHEC official registration celebrated in London
Ethiopians are pleased to host the Great Ethiopian Run on 19 November 2023. International participants from 12+ countries have already registered through our page. Don't miss out – sign up to attend in person here: 2023 Sofi Malt Great Ethiopian Run International 10K | In Person To attend the race here in UK which will being staged in conjunction with…
20 Oct 2023
2023 Sofi Malt Great Ethiopian Run International 10K
Today, at the Ethiopian Embassy in London, we celebrated Ethiopia's 16th National Flag Day with the theme "The Prestige of Our Flag: A Guarantee for Unity and Sovereignty." We paid tribute to the collective sacrifice made "for the love and honor of our flag" to protect our sovereignty. Our flag embodies freedom, unity, and the pride of our people.  
16 Oct 2023
Ethiopian Flag Day.
Press Release on The Tendering of 8 State-owned Sugar Enterprises Notice of Bid Submission on 5th October 2023
13 Oct 2023
Notice of Bid Submission
The 2023 Sofi Malt Great Ethiopian Run International 10km is gearing up to unite runners from around the world. Get ready for a global sporting adventure as athletes from UK, and more converge for an epic race! for further detail: 
11 Oct 2023
Great Ethiopian Run 2023