The International Finance Corporation (IFC) secured development financing worth $421 million to the private sector in 2021, amid the pandemic crisis, and invested over $4 billion in Egypt over the past decade, said Minister of International Cooperation Rania Al-Mashat.
Al-Mashat made her statements during a virtual meeting, held on Wednesday, with the IFC’s managing director Mokhtar Diop to discuss the portfolio of ongoing projects with the IFC and future areas of cooperation to pave the way towards effective development cooperation.
The meeting took place in the presence of the IFC’s Vice President for Middle East and Africa, Sérgio Pimenta; World Bank Group’s Country Director for Egypt, Marina Wes; IFC’s Country Manager for Egypt, Yemen, and Libya, Walid Labadi; and Executive Director and Dean of the Board of Executive Directors of the World Bank Group, Merza Hasan.
The minister further explained that Egypt was resilient in facing the COVID-19 pandemic and was able to maintain growth due to the successful partnerships between the public and private sector.
“The IFC has been quite important for Egypt’s development story, our relationship shows in the magnitude and the importance of the shared portfolio”, said Al-Mashat.
The minister added that 2021 is the year for private sector engagement, explaining that the Ministry of International Cooperation is focusing on propagating the need for the private sector’s involvement in the development agenda by holding various Multi-Stakeholder Platforms (MSPs).
MSPs bring together the private entities and the IFIs to support and encourage the sustainable-led businesses.
Al-Mashat elaborated that with the development portfolio the country shares with various development partners, the Egyptian private sector has become skilled and knowledgeable in the sustainable field across various sectors; leading to a potential regional collaboration where Egypt shares its experience in sustainable development cross-borders with neighbour countries.
During the meeting, Diop said that the IFC aims to expand its cooperation and take it to the next level by focusing on development opportunities in Egypt, in light of the structure reform plans adopted by the Government of Egypt.
“We will focus on the development of the African continent, and Egypt shall be one of the leading programmes in the IFC’s regional development plans”, said Diop.
Diop also shed light on the strategic importance of Egypt within the region, explaining that Egypt has become a regional hub for sustainable development projects.
On his side, Pimenta said that the Multi-Stakeholder Platforms are crucial to move forward the cooperation projects between Egypt, the IFC, and the private sector; aspiring to capitalise on the private sector’s technological advancement to fulfil both national and global sustainable targets.
The meeting also covered a few sectors of development in Egypt that have potential for further cooperation such as renewable energy, transportation, and wastewater management and water desalination.
Egypt is the largest country of operation for the IFC in the the MENA region, with a total of 197 projects.
The IFC’s cooperation portfolio with Egypt encompasses 98 projects, with development financing worth $1.27 billion.
The IFC is focused on the support of private entities across several sectors; including agriculture, finance, infrastructure, renewable energy, industry, and technology.