Egypt’s Minister of International Cooperation, Rania Al-Mashat, and CEO of the French Development Agency (AFD), Rémy Rioux, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that will provide Egypt with €715.6m in development funds.
The funds come as part of Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi’s activities during his recent visit to France, where he held discussions with his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron on various forms of bilateral cooperation.
The MoU comes as part of the Strategic Partnership in Social and Economic Development, worth €1bn, which will cover the 2019-2023 period. This agreement was signed during President Macron’s visit to Egypt on 28 January 2019.
Minister Al-Mashat and Rioux signed seven documents that will provide financing for the energy sector policy support programme, worth a value of €150m.
This also ensures the provision of a €1m grant, aimed at building capacity to develop a methodology for assessing the social, and direct and indirect economic impacts, of the regulations and policies prepared by the Electricity Utility and Consumer Protection Regulatory Agency (EgyptERA).
It comes in addition to boosting electronic transportation methods and nudging Egypt’s transport sector towards a greener path. It will also see the application of international standards for the development regulations of energy services companies and recommendations related to Egypt.
In addition to the MoU, the two sides signed a budget support document in aid of Egypt’s comprehensive health insurance system, worth a value of €150m. Besides this, a further financing document for re-establishment of the French University in Egypt was signed.
The latter project is set to receive a loan amounting to €12m and a grant of €2m, as part of the government’s efforts to develop and enrich Egypt’s educational system and enhance investment in human capital.
Several other projects in Egypt will receive funding through the joint Egypt-AFD partnership. This includes: a €95m loan for the development of the Tanta-Mansoura-Damietta railway line; a further loan of €250m to finance the development of the Abu Qir railway; and a financing loan worth €52m that will go towards the development of the sewage treatment plant at Helwan.
The two sides also agreed for a grant of €1.5m to be provided, as part of a financing programme, to transform financing systems towards climate in Egypt. This comes in addition to a partnership agreement that will implement a technical cooperation project to support the teaching of the French language in Egyptian government schools, which will receive a grant of €1.5m.
The latter grant comes with the aim of supporting the development of curricula and educational resources, and providing linguistic and educational training for teachers.
Since 1974, the total economic cooperation portfolio between Egypt and France has amounted to €7.5bn, through more than 42 cooperation protocols in various sectors. The total current portfolio of economic cooperation with France amounts to €1bn, and covers the following sectors: transport; electricity; small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs); housing; utilities and urban development; agriculture; health; and environment.