Four Ethiopian Premier League sides - Coffee, Adama City, Arba Minch City and Fasil City - are set to play to mark the sixth anniversary of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD).
The four-team football competition is organized by the Ethiopian Football Federation (EFF) and the GERD National Secretariat Office. In a statement sent by the country’s football governing body, EFF, the event marks the sixth year anniversary of the Grand Dam that will possibly bring a new chapter in the country’s power generation history.
The four sides represent the people of the land in full. “These are clubs that represent the Amhara, Oromia, the South and others. They can draw thousands of people when they play,” EFF said in the statement.
All four sides are enthusiastic to play for this great event, the statement adds. The standings of the four sides in the current league football competition are quite good. So the event will attract huge crowd to colourfully mark the six-year anniversary, according to the EFF.
In March 2011, the year the cornerstone was laid for GERD by the late Prime Minister Meles Zenawi, GERD is expected to generate 5,200MW hydroelectric power but later it was announced that GERD is set to produce 6,000MW.
In his address to the gathering and to the Ethiopian people live on TV on the day of the ceremony to lay cornerstone at a place called Guba, Benshangul-Gumuze State, the late Premier made it clear that getting fund to construct such a Grand Dam has never been successful. “This led the country with two options: either to abandon the project altogether or do whatever it takes to raise the required fund from the local source. I have no doubt which of these difficult choices the Ethiopian people will make. No matter how poor we are … the Ethiopian people will pay any sacrifice to build the dam,” Meles said six years ago.
As he well puts it so far 56 percent of the dam has been constructed covering the cost by the Ethiopian people and government.
The overall cost is estimated to be 80 billion birr. So far the Ethiopian people have contributed nine billion birr.