A pleasure boat sails on the Nile River at sunset in Aswan, Egypt. Addis Ababa authorities doubt that a new dam will cause significant harm to Egypt or Sudan, downstream. (File picture: AP)
Ethiopia plans to undertake various fundraising mechanisms, including lotteries, music concerts and arts and photo exhibitions, to raise funds for the construction of a mega hydro dam, which is expected to be Africa's largest. 

The Ethiopia Office of the National Council for the Coordination of Public Participation on the Construction of the Dam (NCCPPCD) made the announcement during a public consultation forum held on Thursday in Addis Ababa. 

NCCPPCD in particular hopes to raise around 55 million U.S. dollars to boost funding for the construction of the hydro project in the 207/18 fiscal year. 

Construction of the 6,450 MW dam on the Blue Nile River in western Ethiopia was launched in April 2011 by Ethiopia's late Prime Minister Meles Zenawi and was intended to be seen as a showcase of the East African nation's renaissance. 

Named Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) the hydro project is expected to need 4.7 billion dollars to be completed and is estimated to be able to hold 74,000 cubic meters of water upon full completion.

GERD is currently 60 percent complete. Already, a high voltage electric transmission line built by State Grid of China Electric Power Equipment and Technology Co. Ltd (SGCC) at a cost of 1 billion dollars has been inaugurated, waiting for GERD's total commissioning to be operational. 

- Xinhua