Ethiopia & Egypt: Visualizing Nile Data – Access to Electricity vs Fresh Water

Nile Basin countries GDP, population, and hydroelectric power production data from The World Bank, World Development Indicators. (

Tadias Magazine

By Tadias Staff

Updated: Saturday, June 15th, 2013

New York (TADIAS) – In 2009, over 99% of Egypt’s residents had access to electricity, while in Ethiopia, a country of 80 million, less than 18% of the population had access to power. In neighboring Sudan 35% of its roughly 30 million inhabitants received energy generated by the Nile river.

In 2011 the annual fresh water withdrawal in Egypt was recorded as 68.30 billion cubic meters. The same year Sudan also took in 37.14 billion cubic meters of fresh water. In comparison, Ethiopia’s withdrawal of fresh water for the same period was a meager 5.56 billion cubic meters.

These statistics come from the World Bank’s “World Development Indicators” and are now compiled by a newly launched website that employs data visualization and creative interactive timelines of Ethiopian history and current affairs.

“While working on my first historical item to publish, on the Solomonic Dynasty, the whole Nile issue exploded into the international news scene,” said Jomo Tariku, the site’s founder, who works as a designer and publishing officer at the World Bank’s Development Data Group in Washington, D.C. that includes the Open-Data team. “So I thought that was a perfect vehicle to do a data-based analysis, as much as possible, on facts and not emotions.”

Ethiopia and Egypt, next to Nigeria, are both among the top-three most populated countries in Africa. Jomo told Tadias that research driven stories are something he deals with on a daily basis, and he hopes that this would particularly assist journalists in providing a balanced coverage of the rather heated current exchange between the two nations on the Nile matter.

“Our main site and the most visited one at the World Bank is under our wing at,” Jomo said. “Our other popular asset that really makes the World Bank stand out compared to any organization that has vast amounts of data is our databank tool that lets you query our indicators and build your own analysis.”

Graph: Access to Electricity vs. Total Fresh Water Withdrawals (Source:

“What inspired this project?” we asked Jomo. “Even though I have been meaning to do a data visualization site on the continent and Ethiopia, discovering a similar Ghanaian site really got me off my lazy chair,” Jomo said.

So what’s the next topic he is researching? “I will publish one on Abebe Bekila by Monday,” Jomo said. “I am sticking with Wikipedia and World Bank but I will be using any free data source I can find to generate the visualizations.”

You can learn more and add to the information at


Hydropolitics Between Ethiopia and Egypt: A Historical Timeline (TADIAS)

Law Professor Urges Ethiopia to Take Nile Issue to International Court (TADIAS)

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1 Response to “Ethiopia & Egypt: Visualizing Nile Data – Access to Electricity vs Fresh Water”

  1. 1 Hydropolitics Between Ethiopia and Egypt: A Historical Timeline at Tadias Magazine Pingback on Jun 18th, 2013 at 12:36 am
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