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Egypt plans Uganda hydroelectric venture – papers

Egypt is in dispute with Uganda and four other African countries over the division of Nile water.

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December 8, 2010 12:23 by



Egypt said it will set up a joint venture to produce 1,700 megawatts (MW) of hydroelectric power in Uganda, Egyptian newspapers reported on Wednesday.

Egypt is in dispute with Uganda and four other African countries over the division of Nile water, due to a water treaty signed in 1929 that gives Egypt the biggest share.

The joint venture would fund the generation of 1,000 MW and an Egyptian company was interested in investing in a further 700 MW, Egyptian dailies al-Masry al-Youm and Al Ahram reported.

An Egyptian hydro-power company could build three hydroelectric plants for an investment of $100 million as part of the deal, the papers said.

Uganda, Kenya, Ethiopia, Tanzania and Rwanda signed a new deal in May that would reduce Egypt’s share of 55.5 billion cubic metres of Nile water. The Nile’s total flow is estimated at around 84 billion cubic metres.

The five signatories have given the other Nile Basin countries one year to join the pact before putting it into action. Sudan is backing Egypt’s position while Democratic Republic of the Congo and Burundi have so far refused to sign.

Egypt’s Electricity Minister Hassan Younes announced a series of development projects in Uganda during a recent visit to the country, the Egyptian newspapers said.

Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni assured Younes during the visit that there was no political crisis between the countries, the papers reported.

(Reporting by Sarah Mikhail; Editing by Alison Birrane)



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