Egypt and Germany sign 165m euro agreement


Minister of Planning and International Cooperation Ashraf Al-Araby signed a 165m euro financial and technical cooperation agreement with German Ambassador Michael Bock in Cairo on Sunday “in order to enhance bilateral relations”, confirmed Magdi Al-Sayyed from the German Embassy in Cairo.

“The German government granted 240m Euros to Egypt as part of a new debt swap programme,” said Al-Araby to Egyptian press.

Al-Araby emphasised the importance of Germanys role in “supporting the Egyptian economy, and being a major development partner to Egypt”.

In 40 years, cooperation between the two countries has totalled 5bn Euro for financing development projects.

The 165m euro will fund various development projects, including an air pollution reduction project using thermal electric stations worth 80m euros.

Another 25m euros will be allocated for energy use and the construction of the Assiut Aqueduct.

Some 50m euro will be allocated for electric power stations, in addition to 10m euros for a programme to improve potable water and sanitation.

Al-Araby pointed out that the agreement aims to provide 7.7m euros in the form of technical aid and financial contributions for a number of projects.

These include a 2.5m euros civil participatory programme in urban regions, a 4.17m euros private sector programme, and a 1m euros womens rights support programme.

Development projects planned between the two countries were put on hold in December 2012 by Germany, due to a wave of political unrest in Egypt sparked by a referendum on the first post-revolution constitution.

The German ambassador said that Egypt should “get the technological means it deserves”.

Al-Araby added that Germany has allocated 80m euros as the first phase of the program, with 22.4m euros to be used in financing a students school feeding programme, in addition to 22.3m euros allocated for building schools in Assiut and Sohag.

German Development Cooperation Minister Dirk Niebel decided in mid December 2012 to cancel governmental negotiations between Egypt and Germany on development and cooperation projects as well as postponing the implementation of Germanys decision to swap Egypts debt, estimated at 240m euro, for an indefinite period.

Negotiations returned again when Prime Minister Hesham Qandil received a German delegation in January to discuss a debt swap deal between Cairo and Berlin.

During President Mohamed Morsis visit to Berlin in January, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said that the availability of German aid is related to political reform and democracy in Egypt