DRC urges Egypt to highlight Congolese environmental investment opportunities at COP27

Ahram Online , Wednesday 12 Jan 2022

DR Congo’s Environment Minister Eve Bazaiba highlighted a Congolese request for support during the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP27) that Egypt will host this year, an Egyptian cabinet statement read.

Egypt s Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly and a group of Egyptian ministers meet with DR Congo s Vice Prime Minister and Environment Minister Eve Bazaiba, 12 January 2021. Egyptian Cabinet

Bazaiba, also vice prime minister, made the remarks in a meeting with Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly on Wednesday on the sidelines of the fourth edition of the World Youth Forum (WYF) held in Sharm El-Sheikh between 10 to 13 January.

During the meeting, Bazaiba discussed cooperation with Egypt, including DR Congo’s request for Egypt to highlight Congolese capabilities and environmental investment opportunities during COP27, the statement said.

Late last year, Egypt was officially selected to host COP27 in November 2022 in Sharm El-Sheikh as a representative of Africa.

In November, the African Union’s (AU) Peace and Security Council (PSC) pledged support to Egypt, as the host of the conference, to “advance African priorities and reach concrete actions on global climate change.”

In October, Egypt’s Environment Minister Yasmine Fouad said COP27 would be a chance to support African demands and to help the continent acquire the needed funds to implement climate adaptation plans.

Egypt’s President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi participated in COP26 in November in Glasgow, where he hailed Africa as a "role model for serious climate action.”

Speaking during the conference, El-Sisi said Africa suffers most from the negative consequences although it is not responsible for the climate crisis.

During COP26, the UK agreed to provide $500 million to DR Congo as part of a 10-year agreement that seeks to protect the Congo Basin rainforest.

In an article published in December around ways Africa can prepare for COP27, the UN said it is possible for DR Congo to have a return of up to 450 percent by investing in irrigation and related adaptation measures.

DR Congo, home to almost 90 million people, depends on clean energy sources for electricity generation. However, the majority of people in the country do not have access to electricity.

During her meeting with Madbouly, Bazaiba said no more than 14 percent of the country’s population has access to electricity, the statement said.

She praised Egypt’s inauguration of the Rain and Climate Changes Forecast Centre in Kinshasa in July.

The centre was established with an Egyptian grant to maximise the DR Congo’s use of water resources and boost its capability to manage these resources. It is specialised in studying climate changes in the country to help protect the Congolese citizens from sudden climatic disasters, the statement said.

Bazaiba expressed hope that Egypt would introduces further energy projects in DR Congo, including projects to generate electricity, that are consistent with environment protection.

She also called for Egypt to support the stability in the eastern Congo, which has seen clashes with the Islamic State group, and to implement development projects that seek to alleviate the suffering of the poor in DR Congo.

Madbouly, for his part, affirmed full support to the people, government, and leadership of DR Congo to preserve its unity and stability.

The premier also voiced Egypt’s readiness to provide all forms of support possible to DR Congo, noting that the relevant ministers will discuss proposed fields of cooperation between the two countries.

Earlier on Wednesday, Egypt’s irrigation minister said Egypt and DR Congo have extended their technical cooperation protocol over water sources for another five years until 2027, while meeting with Bazaiba.

Bazaiba also attended a session about water security at the WYF. In remarks to media after the session, she said water resources should not be a cause of conflict, but a source of peace instead.

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