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Title: THE BLUE NILE ISSUE: A HISTORY OF HYDROPOLITICS, 1884-1974
Authors: Tefere, mekonnen
Advisors: Professor Hussein Ahmed
Copyright: 2004
Date Added: 19-Apr-2008
Publisher: Addis Ababa University
Abstract: The hydropolitics of the Blue Nile had an impact on developments affecting modern Ethiopia. The issue has played a crucial role in the struggle between Ethiopia and the powers over the control of the lower basin, and was transformed in the nineteenth century. The century witnessed Egypt’s vigorous attempt to secure the unimpeded flow of the Blue Nile River. This development became more acute and gained a new momentum when European powers developed an interest in the region and realized that both the economic survival of Egypt and the prosperity of the Sudan were dependent on the good will of Ethiopia that had direct jurisdiction over the source of the Blue Nile. The main objective of the thesis is to show the dynamics of the hydropoltics of the Blue Nile within the broad context of Ethiopian history. In the last quarter of the nineteenth century, the Blue Nile was one of the main factors that led the British to violate the Adwa or Hewett Treaty of 1884 and to promote the Italian colonial interest in Ethiopia up to 1896. By 1902, the British had ensured the unobstructed and continuous flow of the Blue Nile River. In the first half of the twentieth century, the British carried on protracted diplomatic negotiations with the Ethiopian government to secure a perennial water supply from the Blue Nile by constructing a dam at the outlet of Lake Tãnã and turning the lake into a water reservoir. Even though the British diplomatic efforts were a fiasco, they had an impact on the history of Ethiopia and the major events of the period. In the 1950s, Egypt’s decision to build the Aswan High Dam relegated all previous plans of developing the entire Nile Basin to insgnificance. The decision not only put the Lake Tãnã Dam project to the side line but also brought the hydropolitics of the Nile into its vortex. Subsquently, Ethiopia called for the equitable and fair utilization of the waters of the Nile as well as planned to develop the Blue Nile Basin. This was the main factor behind Egypt’s hostile policy towards Ethiopia until the 1960s. This study argues that lack of far-sightedness particularly on the part of the powers intensified the Nile issue. The river could not be disconnected from national sentiment and treated as a common and shared natural resource among the riparian states. This is a major impediment to equitable and fair utilization of the waters of the Nile.
Description: A THESIS PRESENTED TO THE SCHOOL OF GRADUATE STUDIES OF ADDIS ABABA UNIVERSITY IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS IN HISTORY
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/123456789/593
Appears in:Thesis - History

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