Minister of Higher Education Khaled Abdel Ghaffar - FILE
CAIRO - 20 December 2018: In light of Egypt's strategy to maintain bilateral relations with African countries, the Ministry of Education provided 1900 scholarships to African students worth $17 million annually and the number of African students enrolled in Egyptian universities reached 11,000.
Minister of Higher Education Khaled Abdel Ghaffar referred that Egypt has deepened its relations with African countries in 2018, especially in the educational field.
As part of the higher education cooperation, Egypt agreed with the African Development Bank to convene the third edition of the Africa Forum on Science, Technology and Innovation, entitled "Building on Science, Technology and Innovation to Boost Private Sector and Socio-Economic Transformation in Africa" (Africa STI Forum) from February 10 to 12 in Cairo.
"This third edition of the Africa STI Forum emphasizes the importance of research to foster innovation and exploitable goods and services by focusing on the private sector in five areas: climate change, nutrition, water, ICT and pharmaceuticals , as they offer tangible opportunities for economic transformation in Africa," according to African Development Bank Group.
The forum aims to achieve economic growth and enhance the competitiveness of the African private sector through the use of science, technology and innovation, urging the countries of the continent to invest more in research, higher education and science.
Abdel Ghaffar added that 35 African higher education and scientific research ministries, representatives from public and private sectors, scientists, researchers, innovators, youth and development partners will attend the forum.
He further remarked that meetings will be held with representatives of African embassies to discuss the obstacles facing students seeking to study in Egypt and tackle ways to increase the number African students participating in the Extra-Ordinary Summit of the Committee of Ten Heads of State and Government (C10) Championing Education, Science and Technology in Africa, in Egypt.
The first Extra-Ordinary Summit of the Committee of Ten Heads of State and Government (C10) Championing Education, Science and Technology in Africa was held in Malawi in November.
Meanwhile, Mohamed Rashad, the coordinator of African Students Affairs at Cairo University, remarked that Egypt provided around 1,007 scholarships to African students in 2017, referring that the Higher Education Ministry doubled this number in 2018.
He commented that Egypt is willing to expand its scientific and research services for African students.
He added that Egypt will raise the number of scholarships for African students in the of Egypt's plan to maintain bilateral relations with African countries.
"Around 4,000 students from Sudan, Niger, Sengal, and South Sudan are enrolled in Cairo University," Rashad concluded.
Egypt’s eye on Africa
President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi visited several African countries since taking office in June 2014, participating in summits and conducting bilateral talks with the majority of African leaders.
In June 2014, Sisi participated in the African Union Summit in the Equatorial Guinea as his first presidential visit within the continent, which was considered then a restoration of the African-Egyptian relations after years of neglect during Mubarak’s era.
Several short visits during 2015 followed the African Union Summit participation, including visits to Sudan, Ethiopia, Kenya and Uganda as per Yuri Museveni's invitation in December 2016.
The Egyptian president encourages Egyptian investments in Africa in fields he deemed as "high priority" such as construction, infrastructure, oil and gas mining, agriculture, telecommunications and information technology.
President Sisi enhanced the Egyptian-African ties by paying visits to a number of African countries, organizing "Africa 2017" forum in Sharm El-Sheikh and hosting African youths during the World Youth Forum.