Egypt to carry out projects worth LE84.6 mn in South Sudan

Ahram Online, Sunday 17 Mar 2013

Initiative aims to provide Africa's newest country with public services in fields of education, health and water resources

Egypt's Prime Minister Hisham Qandil speaks at a press conference (Photo: Reuters)

Cairo has pledged to carry out a number of service projects in South Sudan worth a total of LE84.6 million, along with a grant of roughly $15.6 million for water infrastructure, the Egyptian government announced following Prime Minister Hisham Qandil's visit to the nascent African country on Thursday.

The projects, to be carried out by the state-owned Arab Contractors company, aim to provide the South Sudanese people with public services in the domains of education, health and water resources.

For one, Egypt's health ministry has allocated LE28 million for the construction of health clinics in the South Sudanese provinces of Warrap and Jonglei.

In the field of education, Egypt's higher education ministry has offered a grant of LE8.625 million to develop a branch of Alexandria University in the South Sudanese town of Tonj. Egypt's education ministry, meanwhile, has offered an LE48 million grant to establish a number of schools in South Sudan.

The Egyptian Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation, for its part, will provide an additional $15.6 million to implement water projects in the Nile Basin country.

Qandil also announced the establishment of a two million square metre Egyptian industrial zone near the airport in South Sudanese capital Juba. The facility, which will be devoted to agricultural manufacturing, will export products to Egypt and other countries in the region.

The Republic of South Sudan, which seceded from Sudan in the summer of 2011 to become Africa's 54th state, is one of nine countries – along with Egypt – that belong to the Nile Basin Initiative, tasked with setting quotas of Nile water for member states.

In January, water resources ministry spokesman Khaled Wassif told Ahram Online that Egypt’s quota of Nile water remains "insufficient" to meet the country's needs.

Although Egypt has traditionally enjoyed the right to 55.5 billion cubic metres of river water annually, Wassif asserted that national consumption currently stands at 62 billion cubic metres of water per year, including recycled water.  

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