Addis Ababa, December 25 –Most of the recommendations made by the International Panel of Experts (IPoE) on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) have been implemented, the Ministry of Water, Irrigation and Energy has said. The Minister, Alemayehu Tegenu, made the statement at a workshop on Tuesday in Addis Ababa to announce progress in the implementation of the recommendations. The workshop was also aimed at gathering input for the ongoing tripartite ministerial consultation to put in place a follow up mechanism on the implementation of IPoE’s recommendations. Alemayehu told the workshop participants that IPoE’s recommendations have already been executed on the part of Ethiopia while implementation of the remaining would be completed shortly. Due to lack of accurate information, the downstream countries, namely Egypt and Sudan, had concerns over GERD, Alemayehu recalled. Hence, a ten-member international panel of experts, comprising two Ethiopians, two Egyptians, two Sudanese and four nonaligned professionals, was set up to address those concerns. Following a year-long assessment, the panel submitted its final report including recommendations to the three governments in May 2013, Alemayehu said. Ethiopia and Sudan endorsed the report and agreed to jointly implement the recommendations whereas Egypt refused to do so. Later in June, following a meeting in Addis Ababa, the foreign ministers of Ethiopia and Egypt announced reaching agreement to collaborate in the implementation of IPoE’s recommendations. Following a series of meetings in November and early December in Khartoum, Sudan, the three countries have generally agreed on a follow up mechanism on the implementation of IPoE’s recommendations, Alemayehu said. They are scheduled to meet in January 2014 in Khartoum to discuss pending issues. The workshop participants urged Ethiopian universities to work together with international research institutions in publicizing the mutual benefits of GERD to the international community. They also called on the mass media in the country to lobby for increased domestic and foreign support by reporting the positive impacts of the dam.