Egypt also signed ten other financial and technical agreements with other states and international institutions on the sideline of the investment forum.
Nasr said that the government is going to spend the USD 42 million development grant from China on funding projects in the fields of space, education and health, to improve the standard of life in Egypt.
The grant will fund projects within an existing Beijing-Cairo development financing program, which includes the construction of Egypt’s satellite assembly, integration and testing centre; development of Misr-Sat 2 remote sensing satellite, the first and second phases of distance education and execute the third phase of the program; accomplish the feasibility studies of a vocational training center in Suez Canal zone, and supply equipment to the Chinese Technology College in Suez Canal University.
Chang said Beijing is keen to double down investments in Egypt, and increase development grants to fund socio-economic and infrastructural projects. China currently funds several development projects in Egypt, which officials value at USD 294 million.
Cairo and Beijing have inked some notable agreements since 2017, including the funding of the electric train project between Salam City and the New Administrative Capital, the signing of a USD 72 million grant on 21 January 2019 for Egypt’s space programme, which is the third grant provided by China to Egypt for a satellite project, and a series of other space cooperations.
China initially provided a grant of USD 23 million given in 2016, and a second grant worth USD 45 million in 2018 to fund Egypt’s national space program.
During the inauguration of the 6th Edition of the China-Egypt Trade Fair in September, Chang disclosed that China plans to increase its investments in Egypt from USD 7 billion to USD15 billion as part of a plan to build an extension of Chinese industrial cluster in Egypt for an easy access to consumer markets in Africa and the Middle East.
Joseph Ibeh is a Mandela Washington Fellow and Senior Analyst at Space in Africa. His experience spans industry research and market analysis with a focus on African-grown NewSpace companies, commercial space industry, national space programmes and real-life application of space science for sustainable development in Africa.