The 5th Joint Coordination Committee (JCC) meeting was held on February 25, 2021 with the attendance of officials from GEM, GEM-CC, JICA, and JICE. This year, the meeting was held online for the first time due to COVID-19.
The committee meeting kicked off with opening remarks by Major General Atef, JCC Chairman, and Mr. Omura, Director of JICA Egypt Office.
First, Dr. El-Tayeb, Assistant to the Minister of Tourism and Antiquities for the archaeological affairs in GEM, reported on the recent status of the GEM’s opening preparations, which are reaching their final stage, followed by Dr. Hussein, GEM-JC Project Manager and Director of the GEM-CC Center. He explained the future plans of the GEM-JC Project, which have been extended until March 2022, as well as GEM-CC activities.
From the Japanese side, Ms. Nishisaka, Deputy Project Manager of the GEM-JC project, talked about the visualization of the project outcomes, which is being discussed as an additional activity of GEM-JC. After that, Director Omura reported on the overview of JICA’s other projects related to GEM. GEM-JC Project Chief Advisor Nakamura and Mr. Okada, the expert of wooden artifacts conservation and restoration, proposed how to provide remote support to the upcoming transportation of artifacts from GEM-CC to GEM.
At the end of the meeting, Mr. Nakamura concluded by saying, “Due to the impact of COVID-19, we have not been able to fully dispatch Japanese experts for the transportation of artifacts in March, and there are some aspects of the project that are not proceeding as smoothly as we had hoped, however, Japan and Egypt will continue to cooperate with each other towards the opening of the GEM.”
The JCC meeting, which is held at least once a year, not only reviews the activities of the project, but also shares and confirms the progress of the project as a whole, and discusses and decides on concrete action plans for future activities. Based on this discussion, both parties confirmed that they would cooperate in promoting activities to strengthen the sustainability of the GEM-CC. In addition, both sides discussed the details of the future activities to visualize the results of the technical cooperation between Egypt and Japan.
Japan and Egypt will continue to cooperate with each other to fulfill the project towards the opening of GEM.