UK Minister for Africa Gillian Keegan
During a meeting with Egypt’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Sameh Shoukry in Cairo on Wednesday, Keegan discussed a number of regional issues with the top Egyptian diplomat, said a press release by the UK government on Thursday.
Keegan and Shoukry and discussed means to ensure the best outcome for the upcoming COP27 that will Egypt will host from 6-18 November in the Red Sea city of Sharm El-Sheikh.
According to a statement by the Egyptian foreign ministry, Shoukry, who is the president-designate of the 2022 UN Climate Change Conference (COP27), briefed Keegan on the latest preparations for the conference.
The two ministers also discussed a raft of regional and international issues of mutual concern, including the Russian-Ukrainian crisis and its repercussions on global food prices, as well as the situation in Libya and Sudan.
Shoukry asserted the Egyptian government's commitment to promoting British investment in the country’s megaprojects.
Promoting British investments in Egypt
The UK minister for Africa was in Cairo on an official visit to partake in Cairo Water Week which ran from 16 to 19 October under the theme "Water at the Heart of Climate Action."
In a separate meeting with the Egyptian Minister of Electricity and Renewable Energy Mohamed Shaker, Keegan explored ways for British firms to enhance their investments in Egypt's booming renewables and green technology market, including solar, wind and green hydrogen, said the press release.
Keegan also met with members of the British business community in Egypt to discuss investment opportunities in the country's energy sector.
British investments in Egypt total £50 billion from 20,000 companies, according to figures announced by the UK Ambassador to Egypt Gareth Bayley.
In August, Globeleq and Actis, two UK-based companies specialised in renewable energy, signed a memorandum of understanding with the Egyptian government to develop green hydrogen projects.
'Struck by the energy and enthusiasm'
During her visit, Keegan also attended a COP27 global youths simulation model that was hosted by the British University in Egypt (BUE) in cooperation with the UN Development Programme (UNDP).
“In less than a month, Egypt will host the world’s leaders for the United Nations climate conference, COP27, and it is essential that the negotiations are a success,” Keegan said after her Cairo visit.
“After meeting with my Egyptian counterparts, I am heartened by the effort, the energy and the enthusiasm shown by the Egyptian government in its preparations for the conference,” she added.
Keegan said she was pleased to meet with young Egyptian leaders, including those working on climate, as well as young entrepreneurs.
“I was struck by the dynamism and the passion on display. We owe it to these young people, and to future generations, to make real progress in a month’s time,” she stressed.
Egypt has been working diligently with global partners from around the world to ensure positive results at COP27 and build on the achievements of COP26 hosted by the UK in Glasgow last year.
During COP27, Egypt plans to focus on climate mitigation, adaptation, and finance issues as well as other climate change-related topics, including loss and damage.
Egypt has also vowed to promote African interests in confronting climate change at the conference.