04 February 2016

Speculation Continues Over Renaissance Dam as Filling Date Approaches

One year away from the commencement of reservoir filling, experts are still debating the schedule, use, and viability of the Renaissance Dam for regional stability and water security. While outsiders look at the Nile basin, its booming population, its poverty, and its vast resources much confusion remains about what this project means. For the Ethiopians the dam will triple domestic electricity generation, making it possible to electrify well beyond the current <45% of the 90 million population. For Egypt, a loss of a close to 100 year treaty enforced control of a river. For Sudan, further economic development. What does Sudan's development plans have to do with Egypt? The more water Sudan uses, the less flows to Egypt. A need for a comprehensive basin-wide development plan is huge.

In a previous post, I presented an article about foreign direct investment in Sudan's agricultural infrastructure. Currently, Sudan is under-developed compared to its potential. Do you ever wonder where these potentials and investment strategies come from? I think typically people accept projections without questioning too much. Economists tend to be quite confident about their speculations, for instance, the World Bank has a reputation for producing studies that are then used by governments the world over to make national economic decisions. Is there a peer review process for the World Bank? Any checks and balances? Any way to really know if they are doing their due diligence or are hiring appropriate "experts" or are giving enough time and attention to resulting huge investments? The Bank is a bank - bottom line for any bank is to invest in something with a return. Why would anyone want a return from the world's poorest communities? 

In exchange for...?