Cablegate: Egypt's Aid-Based Diplomacy Efforts in Sub-Saharan
DE RUEHEG #0078 0141125
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 141125Z JAN 10
FM AMEMBASSY CAIRO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 4730
INFO RUEHKH/AMEMBASSY KHARTOUM 0005
RUEHNR/AMEMBASSY NAIROBI 0005
C O N F I D E N T I A L CAIRO 000078
DEPARTMENT FOR NEA/ELA, AF/SPG, AF/E, AF/C, AF/W
E.O. 12958: DECL: 12/29/2019
TAGS: PREL EAID SU SO EG
SUBJECT: EGYPT'S AID-BASED DIPLOMACY EFFORTS IN SUB-SAHARAN
REF: A. 08 CAIRO 1794 B. 09 CAIRO 1897 C. 09 CAIRO 2355 D. 09 CAIRO 2130 Classified By: Counselor for Economic and Political Affairs Stephen P. O'Dowd for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d).
1.(C) Key Points: -- The Deputy SYG of the Egyptian Fund for Technical Cooperation with Africa (EFTCA), Mahed Al Adawy, told us that the provision of assistance to African countries was one of Egypt's most important tools for diplomacy in the region and FM Aboul Gheit personally approves all projects. -- Egypt has projects in 43 African countries and the budget for the EFTCA has increased from USD 17 million in 2008 to USD 27 million in 2010. -- Al Adawy said the GoE wants to work with the USG to provide emergency assistance to Somalia "without offending the sensibilities of the conservative Muslim populace."
2.(C) Al Adawy told Poloff on December 30 that the provision of assistance to African countries was one of Egypt's most important tools for diplomacy in the region and FM Aboul Gheit personally approves all projects. He said assistance is often the only thing that Egypt can offer African countries. To illustrate the EFTCA's importance to the GoE, Al Adawy said the fund had increased by USD 5 million in 2009 and would increase by another USD 5 million this year to a total of USD 27 million (reftel A).
3.(C) Al Adawy stated that the EFTCA is active in 43 African countries, but most of its efforts are aimed at the countries of the Nile Basin, Somalia, Eritrea, Chad, Mali and Niger. He said the EFTCA's top priority was to provide assistance to its "Nile Basin neighbors" because of the "water issue," and to smooth any frictions in Egypt's relationships with these countries (reftels B-C). Al Adawy told us that the EFTCA is involved in digging wells in many Nile Basin countries to help build water capacity beyond relaince on the Nile. He said in order to help stability in the Basin, EFTCA has provided more money and assistance to Juba than it has to Khartoum, given that Juba's needs are greater and the lack of development in South Sudan is a risk to regional stability.
4.(C) Al Adawy said Somalia is also an important aid recipient. He told us that the EFTCA covers the expenses of the Somali Embassy in Cairo and recently sent uniforms for the Somali TFG police and military forces. El Adawy hoped that the GoE and USG could cooperate in providing assistance to Somalia. He stated that Egyptian expertise and U.S. capital could "provide emergency assistance without offending the sensibilities of the conservative Muslim populace." (reftel D). SCOBEY