The Ministry of International Cooperation and the African Development Bank (AfDB) have signed a grant agreement worth $650,000, according to a Tuesday statement from the ministry.
The grant will finance the first phase of the required initial feasibility studies for the establishment of a cross-continent shipping line connecting the Mediterranean Sea and Lake Victoria.
The financial aid will be provided by the Korea-Africa Economic Cooperation Trust Fund, belonging to the AfDB group.
The main aim of the shipping line project is to convert the Nile River into a sustainable waterway for transport. It is anticipated that it will link Nile Basin countries, namely Egypt, Sudan, Kenya, Tanzania, Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo and South Sudan.
With this project in place, economic collaboration between the Nile Basin countries will be enhanced, as it will encourage trade between them with time and cost-saving transportation.
The amount of financing dedicated this year to Egypt by the AfDB is equivalent to approximately $450m, a figure which could grow in the coming years, the bank has previously stated.
Less than 10 days ago, Minister of International Cooperation Sahar Nasr met with AfDB officials to discuss the bank’s ongoing portfolio in Egypt. During the meeting, provisions for the financial package to develop the Sharm El-Sheikh airport were agreed upon.
In May 2015, the AfDB provided the project with $90m, with a further $50m expected to be officially provided by the bank in the near future.
The AfDB started its operations in Egypt in 1974, and it is currently participating in the financing of more than 35 projects with total funding of approximately $1.9m. The projects financed by the bank are in the electricity, agriculture, transport and airports sectors, amongst others.
The bank confirmed that the projects are progressing well, and that the amount withdrawn from the aforementioned value of funding has reached 62%.