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Egypt Receives $45 Million Grant From China For EgyptSat-2 Earth Observation Satellite Completion

Sentinel-2 image of the Nile Delta, the Levant, and the Eastern Mediterranean. Image courtesy of the European Union.

The Chinese government has provided Egypt with a U.S.$45 million grant for the completion of the EgyptSat-2 Earth observation satellite.

The grant was given at a signing ceremony held in Cairo on 13 August 2018 involving Egyptian Minister of Investment and International Cooperation Sahar Nasr and the Chinese ambassador to Egypt, Song Aiguo. Egyptian Minister of Higher Education Khaled Abdel Ghafar and representatives of the National Authority for Remote Sensing and Space Sciences (NARSSS) were also present at the ceremony.

The grant is overseen by the China National Space Administration (CNSA), and follows an initial grant of U.S.$23 million that was provided a few years ago.

“This project aims at transferring Chinese technology in the satellite sector to serve the purposes of research projects and remote sensing,” said Sahar Nasr, emphasising the growing strength of Sino-Egyptian relations. She also pointed out that the Chinese grant for EgyptSat-2 cements bilateral space cooperation ties between the two countries since Cairo has just established the Egyptian Space Agency.

China’s ambassador to Egypt stated that the coming years will see an increase in Chinese investments in Egypt, noting that China is keen to transfer its expertise in satellite manufacturing and operations technology to Egyptian engineers.

Song Aiguo added that the EgyptSat-2 Earth observation satellite project will contribute to Egypt’s regional leadership in the field of space and scientific research.

Aiguo also praised the improvement of the investment climate in Egypt which encourages the Chinese investors to pump new investments in the country during the upcoming period.

Egypt is a key Middle Eastern partner in China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and has received significant Chinese investment in the past few years. As of July 2018, there are 1,558 Chinese companies in Egypt that specialise in information technology, electricity supply, telecommunications, and transportation.

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