January 9, 2018
2017 marks the 40th anniversary of the establishment of JICA Egypt Office and the cooperation with the Government of Egypt. A cooperation and partnership that has made great contributions over the last four decades to the development and prosperity of Egypt.
Japan's first technical cooperation was provided in 1954, followed by grant aid from 1973, and then ODA loan in 1974. In 1977, JICA Egypt Office was established and since then, JICA continued to support the government of Egypt's endeavors for achieving growth and development of Egypt.
Over the years, JICA's operations have expanded significantly. As of 2016, loans reached JPY 684.8 billion, grants reached JPY 129.6 billion, and technical cooperation recorded JPY 76.05 billion. Around 2,979 experts and 275 Japanese volunteers have been dispatched to Egypt to work with the Egyptian counterparts and JICA has delivered training in Japan to 10,851 Egyptian government officials.
JICA's iconic cooperation projects in Egypt date back to the last century since the establishment of Cairo University Specialized Pediatric Hospital (CUSPH) (1982), Cairo Opera House (1988) and Sinai Peace Bridge (2001), while the current landmark cooperation projects include Egypt Japan University for Science and Technology (E-JUST) as well as Grand Egyptian Museum.
The three pillars of cooperation in Egypt are "Inclusive and Sustainable Growth" which involves development of social and economic infrastructure in sectors such as electricity, transportation, as well as industrial development, "Poverty Reduction / Enhancement of Standard of Life" through development of basic social service as well as irrigation and agriculture, and "Human Resource Development / Improvement of Public Sector" through education development, public sector empowerment and triangular cooperation (Third Country Training Program), with the aim to support the Egyptian government's continuous efforts to develop the country after the years of revolution and political turmoil.
The first pillar "Inclusive and Sustainable Growth" includes the cooperation in the electricity sector in which JICA enjoys a fruitful and long lasting partnership with the Government of Egypt. About $ 2.1 billion were extended until now to 17 infrastructure investments, besides supporting capacity building of Egyptian counterparts. The projects under implementation include 220 MW Wind Farm at Gulf of El Zayt, 20 MW Solar PV Plant in Hurghada, Energy Control System Upgrading in Upper Egypt, in addition to projects for rehabilitation of thermal power plants and distribution network.
Regarding the Transportation sector, JICA's support includes: capacity development for staff in the sector; formulating master plan studies with recommended priority projects in addition to providing investment for financing mega infrastructural projects. JICA's support aims to decrease the traffic congestion in Greater Cairo, which is a main source for time and cost losses, thereby enhancing people's mobility and environmental conditions. JICA's support aims also to develop effective nationwide transport network which is essential in economic development. Examples of latest JICA's projects in transport sector are: the construction of the Greater Cairo Underground Metro Line No. 4 Phase 1 (approx. 17.5 km length, equivalent estimated finance may reach $ 1.5 billion) and the construction of the new terminal of Borg Al Arab Airport (loan 18.2 billion JPY) with eco-airport concept through applying Japanese advanced technologies.
Tourism development is one of JICA's cooperation programs as Egypt's economy depends greatly on the tourism revenues that have declined after the two revolutions. JICA is currently financing the construction of one of the world's largest museums which is the Grand Egyptian Museum (GEM) near the Great Pyramids of Giza through a loan of around $ 800 million. JICA is also providing technical cooperation on management and operation of the museum and exhibitions in order to prepare for the museum's opening. In addition, JICA is supporting the conservation, restoration, packing and transportation of artifacts at the GEM Conservation Center (GEM-CC) as well as the excavation of the 2nd Solar Boat (2nd King Khufu Ship).
The second pillar "Poverty Reduction / Enhancement of Standard of Life" involves JICA's cooperation for the improvement of healthcare services in Egypt through multiple projects including the prominent Cairo University Pediatric Hospital, known as "Abo El-Reesh Japanese Hospital," in addition to a comprehensive health sector cooperation plan that works on achieving Universal Health Coverage. This cooperation includes technical knowledge transfer and training programs in the field of hospital quality management through the application of 5S-KAIZEN quality improvement methodology, besides nursing and emergency pre-hospital care trainings.
Also, JICA's cooperation to the water resources and agriculture sectors has continued more than 30 years. At the early stage, JICA concentrated on improving the agriproducts' productivity, moving onto then to improving income and introducing efficient water use. Currently, JICA introduces market oriented farming along the Nile river, and the concept of Comprehensive Irrigation Water Management (CIWM) which will help in achieving fair water distribution and efficient water use, not only through technical cooperation, but financial assistance is on-going and under formulation.
The third pillar "Human Resource Development / Improvement of Public Sector" includes the Education sector which witnessed the launch of Egypt-Japan Education Partnership (EJEP) as a main element of cooperation between JICA and the Egyptian government that covers the Early Childhood Development, Basic Education, Technical Education as well as Higher Education & scientific research. This cooperation comprises JICA's support to the establishment of Egypt-Japan University for Science and Technology (E-JUST) in Borg Al Arab in Alexandria.
JICA cooperates with the Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS) to support improving quality of statistics in Egypt. In 2017, JICA contributed to "Egypt Census 2017" through the dispatch of Japanese experts and the provision of tablets which were used for data quality control that will help make better development plans for Egypt.
Since that Egypt is a major power in the Middle East and Africa regions. By leveraging the outcomes of its past cooperation for Egypt and by providing support to other regional countries in cooperation with Egypt, JICA encourages the independent provision of support in the region by Egypt's implementing agencies. JICA supported Egyptian organizations to provide trainings to participants of Africa and Middle East countries. More than 5,000 participants from the region received training programs in Egypt under JICA's "Third Country Training Program" scheme.
These are some of JICA's activities in Egypt, besides many other different projects. Through cooperation across a wide range of sectors, JICA aims to continue the support to Egypt's sustainable development and help strengthening this bilateral relationship through the coming 40 years, or even 400!!