Egypt has won two 2020 Sustainability Awards granted by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) for its efforts in "Sustainable Energy” and “Gender and Inclusion,” Minister of International Cooperation Rania Al-Mashat said in a statement Sunday.
Al-Mashat stated that Egypt has been awarded with Silver and Bronze awards by EBRD’s Environment and Sustainability Department in recognition of significant contributions in five fields: Sustainable Energy, Climate Resilience, Environmental & Social Best Practices, Environmental & Social Innovation, and Gender and Inclusion.
The Egyptian Electricity Transmission Company (EETC) won the Silver award in the “Sustainable Energy” category for its commitment to innovation, as well as taking pioneering steps to promote equal opportunities and "green skills" for women in the country’s renewable energy sector, according to the statement.
Egyptian National Railways (ENR) won the Bronze award in the “Gender and Inclusion” category for its contribution to safe transport, which is essential for women’s economic inclusion, enabling them to access education as well as economic opportunities, according to the statement.
Al-Mashat praised the EBRD for celebrating notable achievements through the annual sustainable development awards, adding that initiative encourages partners to promote environmental and social sustainability, expand renewable energy projects, and endorse women's economic empowerment, supporting the implementation of UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
In 2019, the EBRD with the Ministry of International Cooperation supported EECT with a sovereign loan of €183 million to develop a more resilient and robust electricity grid across Egypt, through the integration of 1.3 GW of new renewable energy, as well as reducing electricity losses, thus saving 77,000 tons of CO2 emissions per year, according to ministry data.
The Ministry of International Cooperation is committed to closing the gender gap by ensuring every project under its portfolio has a component allocated to women, contributing to the acceleration of achieving the fifth SDG related to that issue, according to the statement.
Al-Mashat also emphasised efforts by the EBRD in ENR’s awareness campaign to combat sexual harassment in the railway network.
“The Environmental and Sustainability Awards are independently judged. The deserved award of our Egyptian partners is hence further testament of successful government reforms which are focused on the key issues that affect Egyptian society today,” Khalid Hamza, associate director and deputy head for Egypt at the EBRD, said.
Alistair Clark, EBRD managing director for environment and sustainability, said that the awards recognise the great achievements of EBRD clients in going beyond business as usual to address key environmental and social issues within their projects.
A special ceremony for the Environmental and Sustainability Awards was scheduled to take place at the EBRD Annual Meeting and Business Forum in May 2020, which was cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
“We look forward to celebrating in person with all our award winners when circumstances allow, and raising a toast to their success,” said Clark.
The ongoing total cooperation portfolio between Egypt and the EBRD amounts to around €4.18 billion, according to ministry data.