The Ethiopian International Professional Support for Abay (EIPSA) was established on the 22, June 2013, in response to the timely need for an organized and independent professional Ethiopian voice surrounding the issue of the Nile River. The majority of the Nile River flow originates in Ethiopia and carried downtream by Blue Nile, while a much smaller portion comes from the White Nile. Both rivers neet in Karthoum to form the Nile. Despite its lion’s share of contribution to the Nile River flow, Ethiopia has never benefited from its waters for a number of reasons. Therefore, the start of the construction of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) virtually remains Ethiopia’s only effort in its attempt to make use of the Blue Nile waters.
Given this, it is high time for Ethiopian Professionals to provide professional and intellectual support for such a worthy cause; and two major reasons justify that.First, the grand scale of the Dam (both interms of costs and future benefits generated) merits careful study in all aspects of its construction, use and discharge of water from the Dam that could affect downstream Nile riparian countries. Since GERD is also an integral part of the flow and use of the Nile River itself, the dynamics associated with the Nile waters also deserve careful scientific scrutiny. Second, Ethiopia’s right to use the Nile waters in general and building of the Dam in particular needs to be clearly articulated. Clearly, Ethiopia’s effort to rely on its rich water resources to eliminate poverty should be taken as a commendable step by all. However, the exhorbitantly skewed user rights conferred to downstream countries, that effectively excluded all upstream countries appears to have set the tone for any discussion regarding the Nile and Ethiopia’s construction of the Dam. As a result, for any outsider who wants to know about the Nile or the GERD, the majority of the information that is out there is misleading and usually wrong. The burden of spelling out and dissiminating a clear and compelling body of argument regarding Ethiopia’s rights on the Nile, rests on Ethiopian professionals who have the means to effectively drive Ethiopia’s point home. These are, therefore, the concerns that initated the formation of EIPSA.
EIPSA consists of professionals from different disciplines who are working for universities, research institutes, multinational companies and foreign government bodies in their capacity as recognised experts in their respective fields of endeavour. The participants of the Association include engineers of various types, economists, environmental and conservation scientists, experts and researchers of water management, trans-boundary water management, international law, international relations, information technology and hydro-politics. Doctoral students and university graduates from America, Europe and Canada are also vital participants of EIPSA. We have no a slightest doubt that the field of expertise and geographical location of participants in EIPSA will be much broader than today. Grouping EIPSA members by the level of qualification shows that there were 1% Diploma holders, 1% degree holders, 61% MSc holders and 37% PhD holders.