COP27: US Announces Scholarship Program, Pledges to Empower Women and Combat Climate Change in Egypt

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At the ongoing Climate change conference, COP27, the United States announced its support for USAID Egyptian Pioneers. This new program will provide scholarships and training to Egyptian students, emphasising sectors that can advance Egypt’s climate goals.

This program will include the following: 

  • scholarships to at least 700 young Egyptians (50 per cent women) from underserved communities to obtain undergraduate degrees in Egypt, 
  • scholarships to at least 60 mid-career Government of Egypt (GOE) professionals to obtain master’s degrees in the United States or Egypt, 
  • scholarships to at least 50 mid-career GOE professionals to pursue post-doctoral studies in the United States, and 
  • U.S. and Egypt-based technical training for at least 250 mid-career Egyptian government professionals and 200 mid-career professionals from non-public entities. 

The American University in Cairo (AUC) will administer these USAID-funded scholarships and training in coordination with the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research. Together, the two organisations will connect private and public sector institutions with university programs to strengthen Egypt’s workforce.

USAID Deputy Mission Director Margaret Sancho stated, “Climate change is an enormous challenge for everyone worldwide. But we also know that women and girls bear a disproportionate burden of its impact.

“Despite this, women and girls lead climate change solutions in their communities. That is why USAID’s Egyptian Pioneers program will include leadership and professional training, undergraduate and postgraduate scholarships, and study abroad programs for more than 500 Egyptian women in the United States.”  

Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research Dr Ayman Ashour also said;

“Around the world, climate change and growing populations are putting pressure on precious natural resources. That’s why, through USAID Egyptian Pioneers, the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research, together with USAID and AUC, will emphasise sectors that directly contribute to Egypt’s climate change goals. This new activity demonstrates continued fruitful collaboration between the Government of Egypt and the U.S. Government to address Egypt’s development priorities.” 

AUC President Dallal said, “Leading the USAID Egyptian Pioneers program is a great honour to AUC. We commit to extending our longstanding leadership and excellence in education, capacity development, and training to ensure the sustainable integration of the public, private, and academic sectors. Egyptian Pioneers will surely leave an enduring impact on Egyptian society, advancing Egypt’s economic development and progress toward its Vision 2030. We thank the U.S. Government and the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research as we endeavour on this partnership journey.” 

Since 1978, the U.S. Government, through USAID, has contributed over $30 billion (471 billion EGP) to Egypt’s development, representing one of the most substantial assistance commitments by the U.S. Government to any country in the world. 

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