Egypt’s first int’l cooperation forum kicks off

Doaa A.Moneim , Wednesday 8 Sep 2021

The total international cooperation portfolio in Egypt amounts to $25 billion, Al-Mashat said

Several Egyptian ministers including Egyptian Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly and Minister of International Cooperation Rania Al-Mashatof with a high-level participation of the development and the international financial institutions representatives pose for an image on Wednesday 8 September, 2021. Photo courtesy of Ministery of International Cooperation.

The first edition of the Egypt Forum for International Cooperation (Egypt ICF), organised by the Ministry of International Cooperation, kicked off on Wednesday under the patronage of President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi with the participation of high-level representatives from global development and financial institutions.

Minister of International Cooperation Rania Al-Mashat said at the forum that the total international cooperation portfolio in Egypt amounts to $25 billion, which contributes to implementing a large number of development projects.

Al-Mashat added that the COVID-19 pandemic has imposed significant economic challenges across the world. Countries need to adopt a multilateral concept and create global partnerships to navigate through the crisis anda finance projects that achieve the sustainable development goals (SDGs).

Addressing the forum in a recorded statement, President El-Sisi stated that the COVID-19 crisis has transformed African societies in substantial ways, which requires governments, international development partners, and citizens to act with renewed purpose and imagination to ensure that progress is sustained, fitting to the global context, and that it is widely shared among Africa’s people and institutions.

President El-Sisi underlined the importance of upscaling strategies for social and economic inclusion that are in line with green recovery, as developing and African countries face a "double crisis" in responding to the economic and climate challenges of the future.

“There is no doubt that governments alone will not be able to achieve this recovery, so the pivotal role of the private sector and international financial institutions is necessary for a sustainable future through innovative mechanisms for resource mobilisation and blended financing, along with tapping on the potential of technology and digital transformation to achieve economic and social development for the whole world,” the president noted.

El-Sisi added that Egypt is one of the first countries to develop a long-term strategic plan to achieve sustainable development for 2030 based on national priorities and principles while taking into account the environmental dimension to overcome the effects of climate change.

“From this standpoint, Egypt welcomes close cooperation with international financial institutions, the United Nations and its affiliated agencies to enhance development efforts and provide the necessary expertise to countries in the Middle East and Africa regions, and to join forces to support the African continental vision for 2063, and accomplish what has adopted by the world in the Paris climate agreement,” the president added.

Meanwhile, Deputy Secretary-General of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Jeffrey Schlagenhauf noted that the finances Africa has secured over the past years to achieve its SDGs agenda are not enough, as the continent’s countries are suffering several challenges.

Schlagenhauf revealed that these finances amounted to $41.4 billion in 2018 and 2019, which is insufficient when compared with the continent’s needs. He stressed the necessity of mobilising international finances to achieve the continent’s SDGs agenda as well as catalysing the private sector to play a role in this regard. 

Multilateral international cooperation has proven its vail during the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, he said, adding that continuing this effort is imperative for the sake of attaining the full recovery from the pandemic.

He also asserted the OECD’s commitment to support the economic transformation in Africa and its integration into the global economy and trade.

During the first day of the forum, the European Commissioner for International Partnerships of European Commission Jutta Urpilainen stressed the importance of the topics that Egypt ICF is discussing in its two days to create partnerships in order to attain the SDGs.

Urpilainen said the COVID-19 pandemic has affected 4.5 billion people and its repercussions are elevating in the absence of economic equality.

“Together, we can promote sustainable development and raise the education distribution between women and young people. The European Union is willing to cooperate constantly with all parties to support development efforts,” said Urpilainen.

Egypt ICF is hosting over 42 representatives of distinguished national, regional, and international policymakers, private-sector stakeholders, development leaders, civil society bodies, and think tanks.

The event is organised in coordination with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the World Bank Group (WBG), and the African Development Bank (AfDB).


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