Egypt’s Ministry of International Cooperation, together with representatives of the Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and the Japanese Embassy in Cairo, organized a virtual high-level policy dialogue to deepen levels of cooperation for 2021/2022, where development projects will be implemented across several sectors including health, agriculture, aviation, electricity, transportation, and the environment, alongside the promotion of knowledge exchange in science and technology.
Several representatives of Japanese institutions as well as 41 representatives from a number of Egyptian ministries attended the event.
During the meeting, Assistant Minister of International Cooperation for Planning and Strategic Studies Randa Hamzeh, on behalf of the Minister of International Cooperation Rania Al-Mashat, presented the ministry’s principles on economic diplomacy that aim at strengthening “Global Partnerships for Effective Development.”
Head of the Asian Cooperation Sector at the Ministry of International Cooperation Mona Ahmed highlighted the support provided by the Japanese government to Egypt amid the Covid-19 pandemic in many development projects across several sectors, the most important of which are energy, transportation, health, and education, adding that both countries are looking forward to strengthening cooperation during the coming period in line with efforts to achieve the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals.
For his part, Economic Adviser to the Japanese Embassy Miyamoto Sokago said that cooperation and strategic partnership between the two countries are expected to experience a new phase, aiming to prioritize and accelerate a clean energy transition for Egypt, as well as contain the impacts of the Covid-19 virus.
Head of the JICA office in Cairo Yoshifumi Omura reviewed success stories as a result of joint cooperation between the two countries, saying that all projects aim to focus on three pillars, ‘People at the Core’, ‘Projects in Action’ and ‘Purpose as the Driver’, in order to ensure sustainable development.
Japan has invested in 12 projects in Egypt worth $2 billion, including the Egyptian Japanese University of Science, the Abu Rish University Hospital project, the Japanese schools project, and the renewable energy project, which is the first independent power producer project in the country and that aims to contribute to the Egyptian government’s strategy to supply 20 percent of electricity from renewable sources by 2022.
To support a post-Covid-19 recovery, Japan’s International Cooperation Agency aims to focus on expanding renewable energy, the maintenance, and improvement of the transmission and distribution grid, promoting off-grid power supply, building a hydrogen energy-based society, and improving facilities for existing thermal power plants.
The agency further aims to push for Egypt’s digital transition through the support and investment of Japanese companies to increase automation and remote work, which is essential in helping to contain the spread of the Covid-19 virus.
In regards to health, over $18.5 million in grants were dedicated to support the export of Japanese medical equipment as well as technical assistance to boost Egypt’s health sector and its capacity to combat the Covid-19 pandemic.
Japan has been supporting Egypt’s development in various sectors since 1954, with $1.3 billion of aid overall, and $6.8 billion in loans for the energy, health, transport, tourism, and education sectors.