On June 22nd 2013 Ethiopian scholars and experts working in different disciplines across different continents have established an international Association called International Ethiopian Professionals Support for Abay (IEPSA).
IEPSA’s main objective is to mobilize Ethiopian professionals across the world to provide support in their professional capacity for the successful completion of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD); it also aims to ensure the continuous utilization of Abay (the Blue Nile River) by Ethiopia based on fair, equitable and other internationally recognised principles and standards. The major factors for the establishment of IEPSA are fivefold: The first concerns the absence of a non-governmental and an independent body to deliver research-based information to the international community about the on-going construction of the GERD and its implications for all concerned. As a second factor, the majority of the Egyptian people only know what they are told by their politicians and have no information about the significance of the GERD for both upstream and downstream countries. This is because Egyptian politicians, although not necessarily all, do not appreciate and accept the rights of other riparian states and peoples on the use of the tributaries of the Nile; as a result of this, their attitude towards upstream water development projects is very biased and hostile. As a third point, there are also questions in the minds of Ethiopians about the size, location and other aspects of the GERD which need to be dealt with in a transparent and accountable manner. Fourthly, there is no formal arrangement or a framework through which experts and professionals of all riparian countries could come together to play a constructive role regarding the GERD and other crucial issues pertaining to the use and utilisation of Nile River waters and resources. Finally but most importantly, there has not been any platform or mechanism through which all Ethiopian professionals across different countries could be brought together to professionally contribute to the efforts of Ethiopia on water and related projects.
With the aim of addressing and mitigating the aforementioned gaps and problems and with a clear focus on the ongoing project on Abay (the Blue Nile), IEPSA aspires to achieve the following specific objectives:
- Conducting scientific, reasoned and research-based assessment in aspects of the GERD and sharing the results thereof with concerned entities and experts at home.
- · Providing professional support to the National Committee for the Construction of the GERD and cooperating with those working on the Dam itself.
- · Maintaining and protecting Ethiopia`s national interest on the international stage through disseminating realistic information, establishing a data-base and through other appropriate methods about the Blue Nile River in general and the GERD in particular.
- Supporting the Dam’s National Committee to mitigate and address the critical questions raised by some international environmental organizations on the GERD, in an informed, scientific and civilised ways.
IEPSA consists of professionals from different disciplines who are working for universities, research institutes, multinational companies and foreign government bodies as recognised experts in their respective fields. The participants of IEPSA include engineers of various types, economists, environmental and conservation scientists, experts and researchers of water resources, trans-boundary water management, international law, international relations, information technology and hydro-politics. Doctoral students and university graduates from America, Europe and Canada are also vital participants of IEPSA. We have no a slightest doubt that the field of expertise and geographical coverage of participants in IEPSA will be much broader than today.
It is with great privilege we invite all Ethiopian professionals and scholars to join the ‘International Ethiopian Professional Support for Abay’ .Your contribution and participation in this timely issue would be greatly appreciated. You can reach us by email: firstname.lastname@example.org
ዓለምአቀፍ የኢትዮጵያ ባለሙያዎች ድጋፍ ለአባይ (ኢፕሳ)
International Ethiopian Professional Support for Abay (IEPSA)