Egypt has signed development financing agreements with France that amount to €1.76 billion this week in light of the new financing package between Egypt and France for 2021/2026, Egypt’s Minister of International Cooperation Rania Al-Mashat announced on Wednesday.
The agreements came as an outcome of the meetings held during the visit of France’s Minister of Economy and Finance Bruno Le Maire, and Rémy Rioux, the chief executive officer of the Agence Française de Développement (AFD), alongside their accompanying delegation, to Egypt.
Al-Mashat expounded that the total sum includes €776 million from the French Treasury and €990 million from the AFD.
The finance also came under the framework of strengthening cooperation and bilateral economic relations between Egypt and France and is in accordance with the roadmap agreed upon during Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi’s last visit to France in December to meet French President Emmanuel Macron.
Following the aforementioned presidential visit, negotiations had begun on the new financing packaging in coordination with the Ministry of International Cooperation and the concerned entities in Egypt to determine financing needs and priority projects, according to Al-Mashat.
From its side, France had sent two missions in February and in June to complete the discussions regarding the development programme before the final signature this week.
Details of the Funded Projects
During the French delegation’s visit, development financing agreements covering various sectors, particularly transportation, amounting to €1.37 billion were signed.
Egypt’s government signed a project to supply 55 trains for the first line of the Cairo Metro with a development financing of €776 million that will go to the National Authority for Tunnels (NAT) provided by the French Treasury.
The agreement is in support of Egypt’s plans to develop the transportation sector, enhance sustainable infrastructure, and improve services for the people.
Under the development financing from the AFD, a number of other projects will receive support, namely the rehabilitation of the Mansoura – Damietta railway line with a total value of €95 million; the rehabilitation of the Abu Qir Metro with a value of €250 million; the Aswan, Toshka, and Wadi Halfa Railway Construction project; and the Al- Rubiky - 10th of Ramadan - Belbeis Railway Line with a value of €250 million.
The government also inked a development financing agreement to improve electricity subsidy policies with a value of €75 million that will benefit the Ministry of Finance.
Another agreement worth €50 million was signed as well to launch a regional control centre in Alexandria for the Ministry of Electricity and Renewable Energy.
Within the framework of the state’s agenda to preserve water resources, enhance sustainability, and develop the infrastructure sector, a development financing agreement worth €52 million to implement a sewage treatment plant in Helwan, €68 million to implement a sewage treatment plant in East Alexandria, €50 million to implement the third phase of the Gabal Al-Asfar Wastewater Treatment Plant, and €68 million to implement a wholesale market in Alexandria from which the Ministry of Supply and Internal Trade will benefit, were signed.
Al-Mashat explained that the development financing provided by the aforementioned agreements is considered soft financing, characterised by long grace and reimbursement periods of up to 25 years, providing the state with the necessary time to implement projects that directly benefit the people, and then pay back under easier conditions.
She pointed to two other agreements that were signed; the first to implement the Universal Health Insurance System (UHIS) worth €150 million, and the second to implement a French University project in Egypt worth €12 million.
The development cooperation portfolio between Egypt and France amounts to €7.5 billion.
Ever since 1974, Egypt has secured development funds worth €7.5 billion through 42 protocols that support economic growth in the country.
France has supported the implementation of many crucial projects, such as the construction of three metro lines, the renovations of the Qasr Al-Ainy hospital, the establishment of an information system in the Bibliotheca Alexandrina, the construction of power stations, the expansion and development of telephone stations across governorates, the expansion of drinking water and sewage treatment plants, and the development of an air monitoring system, according to the international cooperation ministry.