Japan International Cooperation Agency
Share
  • 日本語
  • English
  • Français
  • Espanol
  • Home
  • About JICA
  • News & Features
  • Countries & Regions
  • Our Work
  • Publications
  • Investor Relations

Remarks

June 3, 2010

Opening of the Egypt-Japan University of Science and Technology
Science and Technology–Challenges in Egypt, the Middle East and Africa

JICA President Sadako Ogata

ACKNOWLEDGMENT

His Excellency Prime Minister Ahmed Nazif, representatives of the Egyptian and Japanese governments, Egyptian and Japanese universities and industries. Ladies and gentlemen,

Four years ago when I visited Egypt, His Excellency Prime Minister Nazif and other officials expressed their enthusiasm for creating a new university dedicated to science and technology here.

At the time I was not even sure if the idea was feasible. It was so ambitious, I thought it was a dream. But the dream has turned into reality today owing to the enormous efforts of everyone on both sides. I would like to express my thanks to all of you.

It is particularly honorable that Japan has embarked on a journey of scientific and technical cooperation with Egypt, one of the world’s most ancient and illustrious civilizations and the creator of such wonders as shown in the nearby pyramids.

ASIA

In beginning this address I would like to touch briefly on the background and wider aspects of the situation which helped shape the desire for institutions such as E-JUST.

In Asia we already had outstanding examples of how science and technology can turn into realizing the period of the so-called economic ‘Miracle of Asia’.

Governments formulated sound economic strategies, helped develop human resources with the latest science and technology and boosted the role of the private sector in creating economic infrastructures and industrial entities.

Through its development assistance, Japan helped to strengthen economic and social infrastructures, paying particular attention to fostering human resources especially in science and technology. It is fair to say that this ‘primed the pump’ for later private sector investment.

My own organization has been involved in developing such institutions as the King Mongkut Institute of Technology Ladkrabang (KMITL) which is a top level university in Thailand. KMITL was established together with JICA in 1960 as a small telecommunication training center. It became Nonthaburi Institute of Technology in 1964 and upgraded to KMITL in 1986. The number of the student was 23 in the first year, however KMITL now has about 15,000 or more.

Another example is the AUN/SEED-Net (ASEAN University Network/South East Asia Engineering Education Development Network) Project—a grouping of engineering universities in the 10 countries comprising the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN).

Japan contributed to the strengthening of the academic network of the region through collaborative research, various scholarship programs, regional conferences and other activities linking ASEAN countries and Japan. Almost 1,000 scholarships were provided under the Project from 2003 to 2013.

Although these projects were small scale at the beginning stage, they gradually grew into active institutions with each one achieving respective specialization. Most of the graduates are engineers, have made strong showing in local support industry and contributed to regional development as engines of economic growth.

Having experienced its own era of rapid economic advancement, Japan has now entered a period of maturity and our role now should be to use the experience it has accumulated to collaborate with developing nations, not only in Asia but also increasingly in the Middle East and Africa.

EGYPT

Since His Excellency Prime Minister Nazif came to office in 2004 Egypt has adopted various economic reforms and its GDP has grown at an annual rate of around six percent. Japan has contributed to the country’s infrastructure, by constructing power facilities, airports, water supply and irrigation projects.

In 2007, Egypt launched the “Decade of Science and Technology” and JICA has sent an advisor to the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research and cooperated with the government policy implementation.

In this connection, E-JUST is part of that continuing process.

CONCLUSION

Yesterday I visited Alexandria and the neighboring Borg El Arab airport --which JICA is assisting to upgrade – and the temporary E-JUST campus where I was able to see the activities of faculties and students. It is most notable that all students are given scholarships from the government of Egypt and private companies such as Mitsubishi Corporation and Pharco Group.

Though the university is not yet functioning fully I was impressed with what I saw and am convinced that from that campus new business and business opportunities will flow and the graduates will become prominent and highly productive citizens.

E-JUST should continue to grow, spreading its influence not only within Egypt, but also over the wider Middle East and African stage. At the same time students from around the world are expected to come.

It should be noted in this context that the top industry in the United States is reputedly said to be the “university”. The influx of foreign students and teachers has brought a major positive effect on that country. Around 50% of America’s scientists, researchers and Ph.D’s are foreigners who are a major source of American economic dynamism.

Though this is a university devoted to science and technology, the aim is not limited to economic growth but to the higher purpose of contributing to advancing and spreading knowledge for global peace and prosperity.

Let me end by thanking all of you here and wish you continuing success.

Thank you.

PAGE TOP

Copyright © Japan International Cooperation Agency