Ethiopia starts generating power at the largest hydroelectric dam in Africa
Located on the Blue Nile, the Grand Renaissance Hydroelectric Project (GRHEP), with a dam 145 meters high and almost 2 kilometers long, is to become the largest source of electricity in Ethiopia. The hydropower plant will generate up to 6.35 GW of electricity, some of which can be exported to neighboring countries. So far, the Ethiopian government has already invested about $2 billion in the project; the total construction cost could be as much as $5 billion.
"Ethiopia's main interest is to bring light to 60 percent of the population who is suffering in the darkness, to save the labor of our mothers who are carrying wood on their backs in order to get energy," Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed said at the launch ceremony and right after he flicked a digital switch to turn on the turbines in the first phase of the project.
So far, some 65 million people in Ethiopia do not have access to electricity.