UK in Egypt’s Highlights of 2014
This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government
When Ambassador Casson arrived in Cairo and said in his video message to the Egyptian people, “Britain wants Egypt to succeed,” he meant it.
Here are fifteen practical things Britain did in 2014 to support a more stable, more prosperous, and more democratic Egypt.
1. Egypt’s top investor:
In 2013/14 Britain was the source of almost 50% of all foreign investment in Egypt, investing some $1.3 billion. BP, BG and other British companies are preparing major new announcements in 2015. British trade with Egypt continue to grow with Egyptian exports to the UK up 45% in the first half of 2014 and British exports to Egypt up 14% in the third quarter.
2. Chevening Scholarships doubled:
For the last 30 years Chevening has been sending Egyptian graduate students to study in the UK. In September we announced that the number of scholarships in 2015 will double from 30 to 60.
3. $32 million Science Fund Launched:
In October we launched our new £20 million Newton-Mosharafa Fund to expand scientific research links through scholarships and institutional partnership. Applications for PhD scholarship calls are open until 31st of December 2014.
4. World Class Visa Service:
Tens of thousands of Egyptians apply for UK visas each year to visit, study, and do business in Britain. More than 90% are processed within 15 days and more than 80% are successful.
5. Strong Tourism Numbers:
Almost a million British tourists visited Egypt in the past year. Ambassador Casson has set a goal of returning the total to two million per year. He has visited Sharm El Sheikh, Alexandria, Luxor, and Al Minya to support tourism. In December Britain lifted its ban on travel to the governorates of Minya, Sohag, and Bani Suef.
6. Cooperation to defeat terrorism in Egypt
Britain supports security in Egypt as the basis for tourism and investment. Cooperation in 2014 has included: detailed cooperation on the security of tourist resorts; supplies of technical security equipment; technical training to help Egypt forces protect themselves from IEDs; and cooperation to combat the terrorist threat from Sinai, Libya and beyond.
7. Cooperation for peace and stability across the region.
In 2014 Britain strengthened its partnership with Egypt to support peace and stability across the region. In October, the UK pledged £20 million at the Cairo Gaza conference. In September, Britain and Egypt joined together as core members of the coalition against ISIL. In November Egypt’s strategic importance to Britain was symbolized when HMS Bulwark, flagship of Britain’s naval taskforce, passed through the Suez Canal. The UK Government has committed £760 million in aid to help the people of Syria, Iraq and Gaza. The response to the crisis in Syria is the single biggest humanitarian response in British history. Find out more at the UK Helps website.
8. £15m of British Council work to develop Egypt’s skills for the labour market:
In its 75th anniversary year, the British Council has continued to lead the way in support to the arts, to English language training, and social projects, providing services to 121,000 people and reaching 30m through digital and broadcast work. 16,000 Egyptians took English lessons and 52,000 candidates took 94,000 UK qualifications in 2014.
9. $50 million investment in real change in Egypt:
The UK has invested over $50 million in development projects in Egypt since 2011 including in education, economic development, women’s and youth empowerment, supporting entrepreneurship and political participation.
10. Empowering women in Upper Egypt:
In December Ambassador Casson visited Minya to highlight the impact of a range of British projects which support economic opportunities for women. UK funding of £400,000 to the Al-Fanar microloans project is improving the lives of nearly 4,500 widows and other women who are their families’ main breadwinners. UK funding of £220,000 to social enterprises is also helping people develop businesses and secure a better economic future.
11. Football as an engine of change:
In December Ambassador Casson visited the Premier Skills programme which helps develop community football projects across Egypt by bringing together top class football coaches working in the UK Premier League and coaches working at grassroots level in Egypt. The programme empowers Egyptian coaches to act as educators and role models to the young people they work with across Egypt.
12. Britain Investing in Egyptian Entrepreneurs:
Britain has helped fund the 12-month Forsa programme to match 52 high-potential entrepreneurs with personal Mentors.
13. Bringing educational excellence to Egypt:
In December, Ambassador Casson and the Azzazi Group launched a new initiative to create a Malvern College campus in Egypt – a unique project to bring one of Britain’s outstanding educational institutions to Egypt for the first time.
14. Hashtag ‘HewarUKEgypt’:
In September Ambassador Casson launched his #HewarUKEgypt initiative, with innovative use of social media, to allow Egyptians to express their views and discuss British policy. (link to media coverage of hashtag)
15. Forging new business in 2015
In October, we announced a major British trade and investment mission that will visit Cairo, the Suez Canal project and Sharm El-Sheikh in January 2015. A group of senior UK business leaders, led by Middle east Minister Tobias Ellwood MP will open new opportunities in the energy, retail and infrastructure sectors, ahead of the March 2015 Economic Conference.