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HomeGeopolitical CompassSub-Saharan AfricaAfrican Union, Israel and the crisis of the Ethiopian Renaissance Dam

African Union, Israel and the crisis of the Ethiopian Renaissance Dam

Author: Dr.Nadia Helmy

Affiliation: Beni Suef University (Egypt)

Organization/Publisher: Modern Diplomacy

Date/Place: August 27, 2021

Type of Literature: Analysis

Word Count: 7950

Link: https://moderndiplomacy.eu/2021/08/20/african-union-israel-and-the-crisis-of-the-ethiopian-renaissance-dam/

Keywords: US-China, US-Israel, GERD crisis, AU, Egypt, Ethiopia, Sudan


Brief:

The US-backed diplomatic efforts of Israel to get observer status within the African Union have been motivated by global and regional geopolitical goals that the two want to achieve with their coordinated involvement in the continent. Through Ethiopia as a gateway, Israel will be supervising the African lead negotiations over the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) crises between Egypt, Ethiopia, and Sudan and watchdogging China’s growing influence in Africa. The US-Israeli cooperation and coordination have also been escalated by the fears of potential alliances between Gulf states and Egypt, given the rising competitions among Gulf states over the Horn of Africa and Ethiopia, which have led to the emergence of geopolitical and security challenges to both Washington and Tel Aviv on both African and Arabian sides of the Red Sea. The US and Israel have sought to lessen the geostrategic competition of the Gulf states towards the Horn of Africa and Ethiopia, mainly not to hinder the cooperation between the two to protect the sea straits in the Middle East such as Bab Al-Mandab Strait, Hormuz Strait, and Gibraltar. Similarly, the two have been encouraging Gulf investments (under their supervision) to the Horn of Africa and Ethiopia to balance China’s penetrations into the region. China possesses the largest investment in Ethiopia and has strong interests in the Ethiopian Dam for its potential hydroelectric power for its future investments in the region. Israel too has been engaged with the Ethiopian government concerning the Dam project, believing that the project offers strategic advantages and bargaining power to the Jewish state’s project of securing Nile waters from Egypt. While serving as an eye for America in the continental organization as well as being a security and political presence in the continent in the face of China, Israel gains the leverages over the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam and ensuing crisis as a policy of pressure on Egypt to ensure its water security by diverting the Waters from the Nile across the Sinai and increasing its expansion and settlements.

By: Jemal Muhamed, CIGA Research Associate

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