By Magdi Abdelhadi
A look behind the fraught stand-off over a controversial new dam on the Blue Nile.
By Damian Zane
By Damian Zane
Ethiopia will go on and fill its mega dam on the Nile, taking advantage of the heavy rain season, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has said.
The filling will continue despite ongoing talks between Ethiopia, Sudan and Egypt to resolve the long-running dispute on the issue.
"If Ethiopia doesn't fill the dam, it means Ethiopia has agreed to demolish the dam," the AFP news agency quoted the prime minister as saying.
"On other points we can reach an agreement slowly over time, but for the filling of the dam we can reach and sign an agreement this year," he said.
Ethiopia has been insisting that the dam will continue to be filled as scheduled from this month, despite concerns raised by Egypt and Sudan that this will lead to a drastic reduction of water downstream.
The three countries have been taking part in long-running talks to try reach an agreement that includes how the dam would be operated.
The Nile provides about 90% of Egypt's water needs and fears that reduction of the water could affect the livelihoods of its people.
Ethiopia is counting on the dam to produce electricity to power its manufacturing and industrial dreams.
By Basillioh Mutahi
BBC News, Nairobi
BBC World Service
A row between Egypt and Ethiopia over the damming of the River Nile has escalated after recent talks between the two countries failed to make any progress.
In parliament Egypt's Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry accused Ethiopia of ignoring an agreement and going ahead to fill up the Renaissance Dam, which he described as an unacceptable move that would affect the stability of the region.
Ethiopia hopes the $4bn (£3.3bn) dam will be fully operational by 2022 and will help the country become the continent's biggest electricity exporter.
Egypt has long been opposed to the project as it relies on the River Nile for around 90% of its fresh water.
BBC Africa, Addis Ababa
Many areas in Ethiopia are still without electricity despite authorities saying they had restored power supply after a nationwide cut on Monday.
Authorities said a fault at Gibe III hydroelectric dam in the southern region had caused the blackout.
The dam, which has a capacity of 1,800 megawatts of hydroelectric power, is a crucial part of the national grid.
Power outages in the country are common despite Ethiopia having invested massively in hydroelectric power dams.
It is currently constructing what will be Africa’s largest dam - the Grand Renaissance Dam along the river Nile.
The dam aims to produce 6,000 megawatts of hydro-electric power - the equivalent of six nuclear-powered plants.
The project, which will cost $4bn (£3bn), is however opposed by Egypt which says the dam threatens the water supply to countries downstream.
Talks to resolve the dispute between Ethiopia, Egypt and Sudan have currently stalled.
By Adam Hancock