Democratic Republic of the Congo Prime Minister Augustin Matata Ponyo and Egyptian Prime Minster Sherif Ismail presided over the signing of several memorandums of understanding (MOU) during the Congolese minister’s visit to Cairo.
The Egyptian-Congolese MOUs promote collaboration in the development of infrastructure, electricity, and tourism with notable participants including the Suez Canal Authority and the actors involved in the construction of the Grand Inga Dam, which will be constructed on the Congo River.
Matata Ponyo sought to attract private investment to fund the construction of the Inga Dam. The announcement continued the recent economic collaboration between both countries. The Federation of Egyptian Banks signed an MOU with the Congolese Banking Association in January.
Matata Ponyo pledged his support to Egypt on Friday in its dispute with Ethiopia concerning the construction of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) on the Blue Nile. During a joint press conference with Ismail in Cairo, Matata Ponyo said the Democratic Republic of Congo steadfastly supports Egypt’s grievances.
The planned construction of GERD is part of a wider development project by the Ethiopian government to expand its hydroelectric power capacity with projections estimating at 5,000 MW in electricity augmentation to service the estimated 83% without electricity. However Egypt and Sudan expressed concern that the construction of the dam could severely curtail the flow of water downstream and marked a divergence from previous trans-border water management agreements.
According to the Centre for Environment and Development for the Arab Region and Europe (CEDARE), Egypt’s share of the Blue Nile’s water supply has been recorded at an average of 55.5bn cubic metres per year in the past 50 years when Egypt’s population was less than 30 million.
Egypt, Ethiopia, and Sudan signed an agreement in Khartoum in December that sought to commission an independent study to guarantee that the water share of the three countries will not be affected.