USAID and Cairo University establish Center of Excellence Agriculture

USAID has launched a five-year, $30 million cooperative project with Cairo University and Cornell University to create a Center of Excellence in Agriculture at Faculty of Agriculture, Cairo University.

CAIRO (28 March 2019)–Guided by the ambitious goals of Egypt Vision 2030, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) today launched a five-year, $30 million cooperative project with Cairo University and Cornell University to create a Center of Excellence in Agriculture at Faculty of Agriculture, Cairo University. The Center of Excellence Agriculture (COEA) will enhance curricula at Cairo University to train the next generation of Egyptian students and equip them with the tools needed to improve agricultural production in Egypt.

The COEA is one of three centers of excellence (COE) launched this week in Egypt: a COE in Water with Alexandria University and a COE in Energy with Ain Shams University. Each COE is funded for 30 million USD for five years each, resulting in a 90 million USD investment in Egypt by USAID.

The Sustainable Development Strategy: Egypt Vision 2030 initiative takes into consideration the challenges facing the process of development in Egypt and aims to position Egypt among the top 30 countries in the world in terms of economic development and quality of life by 2030. The USE-AGCOE reflects these priorities through all its components: curriculum development, high-quality research, and faculty/student exchanges and training. The USE-AGCOE is a champion of gender equity and reaching underserved populations, and facilitating readily translatable, solutions-based research that addresses the current and emerging needs of Egyptian agriculture.

“We are pleased to be the lead institution in Egypt. These initiatives will prepare our faculty and students to thrive in Egypt’s growing economy,” said Prof. Dr. Mohamed Othman El-Khosht, President of Cairo University. “This Center of Excellence will develop innovative, transformative, and industry-validated curricula, and will also enhance our students approach to research, their opportunities to develop partnerships with private industry toward the third generation university, and how they can innovate and stimulate the Egyptian agricultural sector,” El-Kosht said.

Dr. Amr Ahmed Mostafa, dean of Faculty of Agriculture, Cairo University, said: “Our agriculture educational system will benefit greatly from this collaboration with USAID and American land-grant universities.”

"The Center of Excellence Agriculture at Cairo University will deliberately work hand-by-hand with all Faculties of Agriculture from different Universities and Research Institutes in Egypt for achieving sustainable Egypt vision for 2030," said Naglaa Abdallah, Chief of Party (COP) of the COEA. She continued, "the collaboration with top ranked land-grant American universities in agriculture will dramatically upgrade our curricula, enhance applied research and innovation which will build bridges with stakeholders, and prepare highly qualified and market-ready graduates.”

“There are many stakeholders in the project and In order to ensure direct, meaningful impact in Egypt, we need to facilitate interactions among all partners,” said KV Raman, the COEA project director and Associate Director of International Programs in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Cornell University, the project’s managing institution.

Components of the COEA will run as partnerships between American land grant universities and the Cairo University Faculty of Agriculture.  The US partner for instructional innovation and curriculum development is Purdue University, high quality applied research is led by University of California-Davis, and the training/scholarships component is led by Michigan State University.

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