Ethiopia's $5bn project that could turn it into Africa's water powerhouse

Story highlights

  • Ethiopia is building the largest hydro-electric dam in Africa
  • The country says the $5bn Grand Renaissance Dam is funded entirely by the government and its people
  • Neighboring Sudan and Egypt fear that the dam will affect their water supply

Each week, Africa View explores the trends, figures and initiatives shaping Africa. From education and energy to technology and innovation, it showcases topics and influential sectors driving countries on the continent.

(CNN)It's called the Grand Renaissance Dam -- and the clue is in the name.

With some 8,500 laborers working around the clock on its construction, the imposingly-named dam is surely one of Africa's most ambitious infrastructure projects, reaffirming Ethiopia's ambitions of becoming a big regional player and a major exporter of power.