US Congressional staffers applaud Egypt’s economic reforms, moving towards green

Doaa A.Moneim , Monday 20 Dec 2021

Egyptian Minister of International Cooperation Rania Al-Mashat met on Monday with a delegation of 12 Republican and Democrat Congressional staffers from the US Congress to discuss various aspects of cooperation with Egypt.

Al-Mashat - US delegation
Al-Mashat and a delegation of US Congressional staffers during a meeting held on Monday

During the meeting, the delegation asserted the importance of the strategic economic relations between Egypt and the US.

They also commended Egypt on its economic and structural reforms and the steps being taken to transform it into a green and sustainable economy.

The delegation applauded the country’s efforts during the COVID-19 pandemic and the resilience shown by the country’s economy in the past year and its ability to attain growth despite the economic challenges faced by most of the region’s economies.

For her part, Al-Mashat told the delegation that Egypt’s economic reforms have supported the country in enabling the shift from being energy deficient to energy exporting, especially to neighbouring countries — Iraq, Libya, Sudan, Saudi Arabia, Cyprus, and Greece — as a result of the reforms implemented in this sector.

“This is alongside the Sustainable Energy Strategy that outlines the country’s aim to increase the supply of electricity generated from renewable sources to 20 percent by 2022 and 42 percent by 2035,” the minister said.

“In this context, many projects funded by development partners — and with the participation of the public and private sectors — are being implemented, including the Benban Solar Project, which is considered the largest solar energy park in the region and one of the largest stations in the world.”

“This is in addition to plans to benefit from green hydrogen, which contributes to enhancing business competitiveness and stimulating trade and investment,” the minister added.

She also stressed that vaccination is a major goal in mind in Egypt and that all state entities are cooperating to make vaccines available, referring to Egypt’s President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi’s directives to cooperate with countries, including the US, in confronting the COVID-19 pandemic.

The meeting also looked into Egypt hosting the 27th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 27).

In this respect, the minister expounded that the conference is an opportunity to create international partnerships that support the country’s efforts in a green transformation and to present what has been achieved so far in the fields of renewable energy, water, small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), and digitalisation.

“Projects to support adaptation and mitigation efforts require government investments, thus the importance of innovative and blended finance,” she explained.

Al-Mashat also reviewed during the meeting Egypt’s efforts to transform into a regional energy hub and the launch of the East Mediterranean Gas Forum, in addition to showcasing the efforts to develop and digitise education, alongside expanding social protection programmes as well as water and sanitation projects.

The meeting also touched upon Egypt’s national strategy for human rights, which aims to promote social, economic, political, and cultural rights within the country.

Moreover, the minister discussed with the delegation Egypt’s Decent Life Presidential Initiative, which is the largest national project in Egypt’s history that aims to achieve integrated development for more than half of the country’s population through infrastructure projects and investment in human capital, particularly by addressing the needs of rural communities.

The cooperation portfolio between Egypt and US has amounted to $30 billion since 1978.

Egypt’s development financing portfolio with the United States Agency for International Development also has amounted to over $900 million since 2014, supporting projects across sectors, including education, health, governance, private sector, and SMEs.

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