Egypt’s Al-Mashat, French ambassador discuss pushing forward €1 bln agreement

Doaa A.Moneim , Tuesday 6 Oct 2020

The agreement reflects the current and future priorities of Egypt’s development plan, focusing on six priority sectors

Al-Mashat, French Ambassador
Egypt’s Minister of International Cooperation Rania Al-Mashat met on Tuesday with Ambassador of France to Egypt Stefan Romettier

Egypt’s Minister of International Cooperation Rania Al-Mashat met on Tuesday with Ambassador of France to Egypt Stefan Romettier to push forward the Strategic Partnership Agreement in Social and Economic Development, worth €1 billion, which was signed in 2019 and lasts through 2023.

The meeting was attended by Fabio Grazi, Director of the Office of the French Development Agency (AFD), and Michel Olenberg, Director of Business France Agency.

The agreement reflects the current and future priorities of Egypt’s development plan, focusing on the six priority sectors of transport, energy, agriculture, small and medium enterprises, health and antiquities.

Falling under the ministry’s new Global Partnerships Narrative, all projects will be defined according to the three PPPs: people at the core, projects in action and purpose as the driver to not derail efforts in achieving the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the ministry said in a statement.

Putting people at the core, the two countries emphasised on pushing for a human-centred economy and making sure that all projects put investment in people as a key pillar in achieving sustainability.

The projects that are under the agreement include the upgrading of the first line of the Cairo Metro with a value of €50 million, the Abu Qir Railway conversion into an electric metro worth €250 million, and the Mansoura Damietta Railway worth €90 million, which will help provide access to safe, affordable, accessible and sustainable transport systems for Egyptians, as well as to finance priority sectors in the field of energy worth €150 million, in addition to a grant of €1 million.

In health and education, the two sides discussed an agreement to support a comprehensive health insurance program with a value of €150 million, as well as a project to re-establish the French National University in Egypt worth €12 million.

It is expected to promote technical expertise and exchange of experiences to support the Ministry of Health and Population in its efforts to develop social health insurance worth 1 million euros.

It also includes a cooperation project to support the teaching of French as a foreign language in public schools through a grant worth €1.5 million.

The agreement also aims to ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all through sanitation projects in Helwan in cooperation with the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the European Union (EU) worth €155 million.

For his part, Ambassador Romatier expressed France’s readiness to enhance cooperation in Egypt’s health sector through exchanging experts and training programs, noting that the AFD has allocated about €15 million to support Egypt’s Ministry of Health to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.

Al-Mashat highlighted that all projects are mapped according to the SDGs, adding that these projects will achieve Goal 3 for good health and well-being, Goal 4 for quality education, Goal 7 for affordable and clean energy, Goal 8 for decent work, Goal 6 for clean water and sanitation, Goal 11 for sustainable cities and communities and Goal 17 for partnerships to achieve the development goals.

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