The Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), Ethiopia’s multibillion dollar hydro plant located on the Nile River, started generating electricity on February 20, 2022. The mega-hydropower plant will provide critical electricity to both Ethiopia and the wider region, paving the way for economic growth and development.

Estimated to cost $5 billion upon completion, the GERD comprises Africa’s biggest hydro plant producing 5,150 MW with a portion to be exported to neighbouring countries. The Ethiopian government has already invested $1.98 million in the project.

H.E. Abiy Ahmed, Prime Minister of Ethiopia, switched on the turbines, commenting that the country’s “main interest is to bring light to 60% of the population who are suffering in darkness.”

Ethiopia is ranked the second most populous country in Africa and yet two-thirds of the population are without power. The start of power generation at the GERD, therefore, marks a significant step towards universal access to electricity in Ethiopia.

Construction of the mega hydropower plant commenced in 2011 and is currently 83.9% complete.