This late 2018 report has been professionally converted for accurate flowing-text e-book format reproduction. Since 2011, Ethiopia has forged ahead with plans to complete the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), a massive infrastructure project meant to bring much-needed electricity to the nation and to the region. Egypt opposes the initiative due to the perceived negative impacts associated with altering the flow of the Nile. Ethiopia has—up until now—acquiesced to Egyptian claims on the Nile, showcasing an inclination toward cooperation. With the GERD, however, Ethiopia is challenging Egypt's historic supremacy over affairs along the Nile. Despite frameworks for cooperation, binding agreements have remained elusive and, in their absence, Ethiopia has unilaterally moved forward with the project. With construction over 65% complete, Ethiopia's developmental ambitions have collided with Egypt's access to natural resources, prompting fears of conflict between the sovereign states. Why has Ethiopia continued to press on with this initiative at the risk of interstate conflict? This thesis examines internal and external conditions affecting Ethiopia's drive toward construction and completion of the GERD. It highlights internal political and economic dynamics factoring into Ethiopia's decision-making process and showcases external considerations that have afforded Ethiopia the maneuver space to move forward with regional ambitions. Ultimately, internal and external conditions set the stage for initial construction and continue to incentivize Ethiopia toward completion.
This compilation includes a reproduction of the 2019 Worldwide Threat Assessment of the U.S. Intelligence Community.
I. Introduction * A. Significance of the Research Question * B. Literature Review * 1. Overview: Resource Wars and Interstate Conflict * 2. Water Wars: The Alarmists' Perspective * 3. Water Wars: The Empiricists' Take * 4. Cooperation and Conflict: The Ethiopia-Egypt Dynamic * C. Potential Explanations and Hypotheses * 1. Internal Conditions * 2. External Conditions * D. Research Design * E. Thesis Overview and Draft Chapter Outline * II. Internal Conditions * A. Relevant Theory and Concepts * B. Internal Political Considerations - Development and Elite Domination * 1. The Derg * 2. The Meles Era * C. Economic Considerations-The GERD as State Transformation * D. Conclusion * III. External Conditions * A. Egypt's Waning Power * 1. Egypt's Position of Power * 2. Nile Treaties and Undermined Supremacy * 3. Egypt's Weakened State: An Opportunity * B. Ethiopia's Increased Regional Significance * 1. Rising Economic and Political Power * 2. Ethiopia-Central to Regional Peacekeeping and Security Operations * 3. Ethiopia-Critical U.S. Partner in East Africa * C. No Fear of Retribution * D. Conclusion * IV. Conclusions * A. Summary of Arguments * 1. Internal Conditions * 2. External Conditions * 3. The Confluence * B. Theoretical Implications * C. Practical Implications and Policy Recommendations * D. Gaps in Research and Areas for Further Study
Since 2011, Ethiopia has forged ahead with plans to complete the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), a massive undertaking meant to bring much-needed electricity to the nation and to the region. Given the immense opposition from Egypt, which stems from the perceived negative externalities associated with altering the waterflow of the Nile, why has Ethiopia decided to risk interstate conflict by unilaterally moving forward with the initiative? Has Ethiopia's perception of relative power changed, and what exigencies are driving the decision to challenge Egypt's "hydro-hegemony?" Why now? This research adds to literature on water wars and the risk of international conflict due to large-scale developmental projects.