Ethiopia will complete seven dams and associated hydro power plants in the next five years to speed up agricultural development, it was announced at the end of March.

Kassu Illala, the country’s Deputy Prime Minister, said the hydro power plants would increase Ethiopia’s generating capacity from its current level of 340MW by close to 700MW, Reuters reports. The projects would be financed by loans from the World Bank and the European Union.

According to the minster the plants are:

•Tisabay 1, at the source of the Blue Nile. This 72MW generating plant has now been completed.

•Tisabay 2, at the same site. This 73MW government-funded unit will be finished in two years.

•Gilgel-Gibe should be completed in 2001. This 103MW plant has been funded to the tune of US$300M by the World Bank.

•Finchaa IV in Western Ethiopia. This 73MW plant should be completed in 2000.

•Tenders are due to be invited on the Tekeze dam. At 203MW, this will be Ethiopia’s largest hydropower project.

•Tenders are also expected soon on the Gojeb plant, which will have a capacity of 154MW.

Ethiopia has recently raised questions over water-sharing agreements for the Nile, which apportions water between Egypt and Sudan. Ethiopia says that it should have access to a greater share of the water (see article, p20).