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  • Monday, 25 March 2024

Dr. Rania Al-Mashat, Minister of International Cooperation, receives the new regional director of the French Development Agency and discusses the position of ongoing development cooperation programs and future partnerships.

• Minister of International Cooperation: Egyptian-French relations are witnessing significant development within the framework of the “Team Europe” initiative. We value the ongoing projects, especially in the field of comprehensive health insurance and food security.

• The Regional Director of the French Development Agency inspects food security projects in Alexandria and the comprehensive health insurance system in Ismailia

• Regional Director of the French Development Agency: A remarkable development in the implementation of joint projects on the ground and we are keen to strengthen the partnership with Egypt. The director also applauded the country  platform of the “NWFE” program.

• $331 million in development financing made available by the French side to the private sector during the period from 2020 to 2023.

The Minister of International Cooperation H.E. Dr. Rania A. Al-Mashat met with the AFD’s Regional Director for Eurasia  Cécile Couprie at the Ministry’s headquarters in the New Administrative Capital, in the presence of Ms. Clemence Vidal de Lablache, Director of the Agency’s office in Egypt, as part of the meetings with multilateral and bilateral development partners to support development efforts, and discuss the ongoing development cooperation portfolio in light of joint Egyptian-French relations.

At the beginning of the meeting, the Minister of International Cooperation welcomed the Regional Director of the French Development Agency and congratulated her on assuming her position in August of last year, noting the depth of the joint Egyptian-French relations under the umbrella of the Team Europe initiative, as well as the fruitful cooperation with the French Development Agency and its diversity in many areas that it seeks. It is a priority in the development plans of the Arab Republic of Egypt.

The two sides discussed development cooperation projects in the fields of renewable energy, electricity, food security, and sewage networks. They also highlighted  the ongoing partnerships with the French side, which contributed to the implementation of many projects within the framework of the Team Europe initiative, which reflect the size and strength of the partnership between the two countries, as many are being implemented. Among them are the energy sector budget support programme, technical cooperation in the field of green hydrogen, social protection, implementing the comprehensive health insurance system, promoting gender equality, as well as re-establishing the French University in Egypt, projects to renew and develop subway lines, water and sanitation projects, and others.

The Minister of International Cooperation explained that joint efforts with the French side within the framework of the Team Europe initiative over the past four years resulted in concessional development financing and grants worth $2.6 billion, including $2.3 billion in funding to government sectors, and $331 million to the private sector.

The Minister pointed to the visit to Brussels at the beginning of this year to participate in the 10TH Egyptian-European Association  Council on its  20th anniversary of the partnership agreement, and the launch of a report on the Egyptian-European relationship within the framework of the “Team Europe” initiative. The Minister of International Cooperation also confirmed that joint relations witnessed  remarkable development, which was evident in the holding of the Egyptian-European summit in Egypt and the signing of the joint declaration by H.E. President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, President of the Republic, and the President of the European Commission, to launch the path of scaling up  relations to the level of a strategic partnership.

For her part, the Regional Director of the French Development Agency applauded  the existing cooperation with Egypt since the establishment of the agency’s office in Egypt, pointing out that she inspected many of the projects that the agency contributes to in Alexandria Governorate, in addition to visiting Ismailia Governorate and learning about the comprehensive health insurance system that Egypt is working to implement.

She also touched on the importance of the country  platform for the “NWFE” program, the nexus of  water, food and energy projects, to advance climate action and promote the transition to a green economy, stressing the French agency’s keenness to strengthen the partnership with Egypt and expand it to include many areas of common interest.

The French Development Agency is among the development partners supporting the national platform of the “NWFE” program, in the energy and sustainable transport pillars. The agency provides €100 million for the energy pillar, of which €50 million was allocated to implement the regional control center in Alexandria. The agency also cooperates with the European Investment Bank, The European Union and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, to provide development financing for the sustainable transport pillar within the program.

During 2022, the Ministry of International Cooperation and the French Development Agency launched the new country strategy until 2025, which falls under the slogan “Towards shared prosperity.” It aims to achieve three main priority pillars: 1) Enhancing the integration of Egyptian financial, commercial and production systems at the regional level, 2) Support the development of social infrastructure, and 3) Promoting equitable and sustainable local development. The strategy's three pillars include main sub-pillars: 1) Promoting shared prosperity, 2) Reconciling development goals with climate goals, 3) Job creation, innovation and entrepreneurship.

It is worth noting that since the signing of the framework agreement between the government and the French Development Agency in 2006, the agency has provided more than €3 billion in soft development financing to the government and private sectors, in addition to €12.6 million in grants. It also administers grants from the European Union worth €150 million, to finance environment, housing, energy, transportation, agriculture, small and medium enterprises, health and antiquities projects.