It is a much-trumpeted issue that Ethiopia is developing over 6,000-megawatt hydropower plant at the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), enacted the first filling phase in 2020 and planning to collect 13.5 billion cubic meters of the Blue Nile River water in the rainy season, swelling its reservoir to 18.4 billion cubic meters.

Downstream neighbors Egypt and Sudan, which fear the project could curb their water supplies, have called for additional international mediation to secure a pact with Ethiopia on filling and operating the dam before the latest pooling.

However, we, the owner and the source of the Nile keep doing our business despite regional and international pressure against our flagship project. We firmly believe that our country has all legal and natural rights to fairy and effectively utilizes its natural resources, and are hoping to see light at the end of the tunnel as GERD is nearing completion.

Ethiopia has been leaning on the generousness of the rest of the world, and there is a conviction on the part of the public to change this, to regain our lost greatness, to divorce ourselves from the status quo of poverty.

Citizens make the future of the country. Many things depend on us, citizens.  In my mind, every citizen can do something useful for the development of the country. It really doesn’t matter what sphere we work in, it is our duty to do everything we can to live in better conditions.

Citizen’s participation has always vital impact on the development of the country as economically as socially. The engagement, inclusion, and participation of citizens, and perhaps more significantly the ownership of national projects by empowered citizens, is pivotal towards realizing the broad goals of sustainable development in such a way that no one is left behind.

There is no doubt that the public sector is a driving force of economic growth through minimizing government budgets, sharpening their competitive advantage and delivering public goods and services with new approaches and innovative nature. Of course, all that will be easier accomplished with greater citizen participation.

We, as the citizens of Ethiopa have the full right to participate in governing our nation. We need to ensure more citizen participation if we want to make our country the better place to live, and bring about socio-economic changes. Therefore, consolidating citizens’ engagement and contribution to the construction of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) until it’s complete, is a national and moral obligation which we all should respect, be dedicated to and live for.

GERD, for Ethiopians, is a symbol and a sign of self-reliance and a fightback against colonization. It is a sign of resilience and self-esteem, praising the power of unity. It is a dream come true, abolishing the walls of impossibility. It is a seal and a sign of every Ethiopian.

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