The aim of this research is to examine the Egyptian-Ethiopian water relations especially over the question of the Grand Renaissance Dam (GERD). The research theoretically and empirically investigates the possibilities of conflict and cooperation in the future of the Egyptian-Ethiopian water relations. The research then highlights the main incentives and deterrents to water cooperation between Egypt and Ethiopia. Given the magnitude of untapped benefits that could be achieved from cooperation, the research explores the viability of the benefit-sharing model as a tool for reinforcing sustainable cooperation in the Blue Nile Sub-basin. As benefit-sharing is not a novel concept to the Nile Basin countries, the research highlights the key milestones achieved in this direction and the main challenges encountered. The GERD has been promoted as a benefit-sharing project that carries benefits to Ethiopia and other Nile Basin states and thus this study looks at potential costs and benefits of this project and draws conclusions accordingly. The research finally puts forward the idea of cooperation beyond the Nile File as a much-needed step to transcend long-standing water sharing issues that have hampered previous cooperation attempts for long years. The research argues that the current issue of the GERD needs to be allocated within a broader framework in order to create a wider room for negotiation and trade-offs. The methodology of this study depends on qualitative tools of analysis and uses secondary sources for data collection. This study is significant because the GERD project is creating controversy in the Blue Nile Sub-basin due to the uncertainties and anxieties around its implications on the downstream Nile states, especially Egypt. Since the GERD project is a fait accompli, there needs to be a visualization of future water relations between Egypt and Ethiopia. In order to find a way out of this stalemate, the two countries need to think of win-win solutions that cause no harm to any party involved by looking into different cooperation opportunities.


Public Policy & Administration Department

Degree Name

MA in Global Affairs

Graduation Date


Submission Date

January 2018

First Advisor

Awad, Ibrahim

Committee Member 1

Bhuiyan, Shahjahan

Committee Member 2

Ali, Hamid


112 p.

Document Type

Master's Thesis


The author retains all rights with regard to copyright. The author certifies that written permission from the owner(s) of third-party copyrighted matter included in the thesis, dissertation, paper, or record of study has been obtained. The author further certifies that IRB approval has been obtained for this thesis, or that IRB approval is not necessary for this thesis. Insofar as this thesis, dissertation, paper, or record of study is an educational record as defined in the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) (20 USC 1232g), the author has granted consent to disclosure of it to anyone who requests a copy.

Institutional Review Board (IRB) Approval

Not necessary for this item


The Yousef Jameel GAPP Public Leadership Program