UN Climate Change High Level Champion for Egypt Mahmoud Mohieldin. Photo courtesy of Mohieldon Media Office
Mohieldin made his comments during a preparatory meeting for the initiative's second edition. The meeting was attended by Ambassador Hisham Badr, general coordinator of the initiative; Hisham El-Helbawy, assistant minister of local development and director of the Local Development Programme in Upper Egypt; and Khaled Mostafa, permanent deputy at the Ministry of Planning and Economic Development.
The meeting discussed proposals for the second edition’s timeline, expanding participation by different sectors and community groups, and training and qualifying entrepreneurs – whether directly involved in the initiative’s competitions or not – to provide a strong boost to development action and economic activity at the local level.
Mohieldin said there is significant momentum behind the second edition after the success of its first edition last year.
He explained that this year’s edition is seeing expanded participation from public and private universities, professional unions, chambers of commerce, banks and cooperatives, in addition to women, youth, startups and disabled people.
He praised the efforts made by authorities implementing the initiative, whether at the ministerial, governorate or local levels, who are holding intensive rounds and seminars to introduce the initiative and its objectives. The initiative represents a strong boost to development action based on advanced technology and environmentally and climate-friendly economic activity, he added.
Mohieldin noted there is great interest from regional and international organizations, including United Nations’ agencies, in cooperating with Egypt on the initiative. They are also interested in replicating the initiative regionally and globally, in line with Egypt’s own efforts to promote the initiative internationally.
The momentum behind the second edition is also due to the high-level support it has received. Winners of the initiative's competition are announced and honoured at a large national conference sponsored by the Egyptian presidency and attended by regional and international organizations.
The initiative aims to localize development and climate action in all Egyptian villages and cities, map investments at the governorate level, increase local awareness of sustainable development, climate change and the transition to a green economy and involve all local actors in development and climate action.
The competition spans six categories of projects, including: large projects, medium projects, small local projects especially related to the Decent Life presidential initiative; startup projects; development projects related to women, climate change and sustainability; and non-profit community initiatives.
Last year's edition saw more than 6,000 projects from all over Egypt participate. Six winning projects were selected in each governorate (one per category). At the central level, the initiative's jury selected three winning projects per category announced and honoured at a large national conference attended by the prime minister. The winning projects were also showcased at COP27 and many other international events.