Sisi decrees to form Egypt-Japan education committee
Egypt's President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe attend their joint news conference at Abe's official residence in Tokyo - REUTERS
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CAIRO: President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi has decreed to form an Egyptian-Japanese joint committee tasked with expanding Japanese-style education methods in Egyptian schools.

The Egyptian committee includes the Ministers of Education and Higher Education, the Presidential Aide for National Security Faiza Abou el Naga, and representatives from the ministries of foreign affairs and international cooperation.

During his visit to Japan in late February, Sisi witnessed the signing of three memorandums of understanding (MOU) between both countries. Under the agreements Japan will provide Egypt with a soft loan and will also help to expand the use of Japanese-style education methods in Egyptian schools.

On Sunday, the Japanese ambassador to Cairo Takihiro Kagawa and the Egyptian Minister of Education El-Helali al-Sherbini, discussed how to introduce the initiative, Youm7 reported.

In an interview with a delegation from the Cairo bureau of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) with Youm7 and the Cairo Post, education senior representative Mizuki Matsuzaki said that the agency has studied President Sisi’s initiative of expanding the Japanese experience in the Egyptian education system.

“JICA has supported the human resource development in Egypt over the past decades, with a focus on higher and technical education,” Mizuki said. In 2009, the Egypt-Japan University of Science and Technology (E-JUST) was established in Cairo.

Since 1970s, JICA has financed development projects in Egypt with funds estimated at $7.5 billion, the JICA Chief Representative Teruyuki Ito said, adding that Japan has sent around 2,700 Japanese experts to Egypt in many fields, including transport and health, since the 20th Century.

Teruyuki noted that the agency is working on activating the three agreements signed during Sisi’s visit to Japan with $450 million in soft loans. Under  the agreements, Japan will finance the construction of the second phase of the Alexandria-based Bor al-Arab Airport through a $18.2 billion loan, establish a solar-power plant in Hurghada, and improve the electricity distribution network in Egypt.

Additionally the JICA has nine ongoing projects in Egypt in the official development assistance (ODA) in the areas of electricity, education, agriculture, transportation, and health.

JICA has 17 ongoing electricity projects in Egypt at a cost of $1.6 billion, representing 60 percent of the agency’s total portfolio, said Mayada Ashraf, an electricity representative at JICA.

Agriculturally, JICA cooperated in developing a total 34 rehabilitation floating pump stations in Luxor and Aswan as well as establishing a number of development projects including a new sluices (gates used to control water flow in dams or canals) project in Dairut city, Assiut governorate, which is being funded through a 420 million EGP ($55 million) loan.

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