ETHIOPIA has sold $56 million worth of bond to its diaspora population to finance a 6,450 megawatts dam being built on the Blue Nile River.
Speaking to journalists end of March, Meles Alem, spokesperson, Ethiopia Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA), said Ethiopia aims to include the diaspora in nation building exercise with the bond sale.
The bond sale to Ethiopia’s diaspora, estimated to number more than 2 million, covers a period close to seven years, ever since the construction of the 6,450 MW dam was started on April 1, 2011.
Ethiopia has already collected several hundred million dollars from the public at home to finance the construction of the $4.7bn dam.
Alem added that the Ethiopian government has helped form an association, Ethiopian International Professional Support for Abay (EIPSA), bringing economists, engineers and water experts of Ethiopian origin to provide technical expertise on the dam.
Named Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) and located in western Ethiopia, 40 km from Ethiopia’s border with Sudan, it is the largest hydro project in Africa.
Expected to be entirely financed with domestic funds, GERD has been billed as a landmark project signalling Ethiopia’s renaissance.
Already a $1bn high voltage electric transmission line built by State Grid of China Electric Power Equipment and Technology Company (SGCC) has been inaugurated, waiting for GERD’s total commissioning to be operational.