Ethiopia
Labourers work at the Grand Renaissance dam in Guba Woreda, EthiopiaReuters

Sudan is set to host three-way talks with Egypt and Ethiopia over the construction of the Grand Renaissance Dam, according to Egyptian state news agency MENA.

The talks will address the findings of an international study into the human and economic impact of the dam, which is being built on a stretch of the Blue Nile.

Egypt is concerned the project could damage the flow of water from the river Nile. Citing treaties dating back to 1929 and 1959, Cairo says it retains its historic rights over the river.

Those treaties, agreed with the UK and Sudan, gave two-thirds of the Nile's water to Egypt, as well as the right to veto projects that could affect the river.

Egypt has accused its southern neighbour of launching a water war, which could lead to a nationwide water shortage that could lead to crop failures, electricity shortages and political instability.

"It's impossible to undertake a project on this scale without environmental impact studies to assess the consequences for downstream countries," said Mohamed Ghoneim, Egypt's representative to the African Union, as quoted by the UK's Guardian newspaper.

For its part, Ethiopia has pressed ahead with the project regardless of old agreements. Analysts have said Addis Ababa is capitalising on Egypt's relative weakness to push through the dam project.

"These treaties are now obsolete. We are entitled to build the dam," said Alemayehu Tegenu, Ethiopia's minister of water.

The dam project is expected to cost more than $4bn in total. Ethiopian officials have stressed the water will be used to generate electricity rather than irrigate fields, meaning it would eventually
reach Egypt.

Egypt's leadership remains unconvinced by those kinds of assurances and will press its concerns in at the meeting set for August 25 and 26.