Deconstructing Hegemonic Narratives Crucial to Ensure Fair Utilization of Nile Waters

Addis Ababa :  Deconstructing any hegemonic narratives on the use of Nile River is crucial to ensure equitable utilization of water among riparian countries, according to experts.

The experts told ENA that Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) being built on the Nile River is an ideal manifestation for the deconstructing of water supremacy narratives as 86 percent of water originates from Ethiopian highlands.

Senior Advisor on Peace Building and Reconciliation at the Ministry of Peace Tigist yeshewas  said that narratives on transboundary water issues are not valid as they always emanated from domination.

For her, Egyptians narrative is predominantly constructed by a victim role and the country plays such supremacy narratives for hundreds of years on the Nile River.

It needs to deconstruct such hegemonic narratives which contribute to the emergence of shared Nile Water narratives beyond national interest perspectives of riparian countries.

“I think we have to deconstruct the narrative. There is Egyptians narrative that constructed Egypt played hundreds of years for the victim role.  Their narrative of Nile portrays that they are victims and even as the extent of Nile originates from Egypt which is quite the opposite. So far, they have done lots of narration building for centuries,” said the advisor.

As part of the narrative, Egyptian diplomats have been misleading the entire world and spreading misinformation about the GERD as if poses security threat to the region and they took the issue of the dam to the UN Security Council (UNSC), Tigist noted.

However, the senior advisor underlined UNSC have rejected and brought back the issue of GERD to the African Union since it is not a security threat saying “it is a big win for Ethiopia.”

“I think for Ethiopia it is a big achievement and we should be happy and celebrate it. We should also have trust and confidence for the African Union since our continent has a potential to solve African problems with African solutions,” she said.

Tigist also urged the Egyptians brothers should follow this African way rather than sticking on the old narratives and colonial era Nile Water treaties in the tripartite negotiation of Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam.

Assistant Professor at the Center for African and Oriental Studies and Associate Dean for Research and Technology Transfer at Addis Ababa University, Samuel Tefera said on his part Ethiopia has been working for having a hydropower political paradigm shift regarding the Nile River.

“Our current moderate diplomatic approach has been giving more power for Ethiopia. We are at the momentum of gaining back diplomatic and international legitimacy in order to deconstruct the old unfair narrative at the broad perspective of hydropower politics in the region,” the dean stated.

Those efforts of hydropower political paradigm shift and the move to deconstruct the old narrative has been resulting positive development as well as gesture from other riparian countries, Samuel pointed out.

“We have witnessed some positive development out of the past nine years of trilateral negotiation. Recently, Egyptians have shown interest to study possible potential of electrification and buy energy from GERD which opens another era for cooperation and development,” he stated.

 

Source: Ethiopia News agency

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