EGYPES 2024: Sisi highlights financing challenges for Egypt, Africa in meeting energy commitments

Ahram Online , Monday 19 Feb 2024

President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi underscored the financing difficulties faced by African countries, including Egypt, in meeting climate and energy transition commitments.

Egypt s President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi inaugurates the Egypt Energy Show (EGYPES) 2024, held under the theme Driving Energy Transition, Security, and Decarbonisation


El-Sisi was speaking at the inauguration of the Egypt Energy Show (EGYPES 2024) on Monday, themed “Driving Energy Transition, Security, and Decarbonization.”

The seventh EGYPES 2024 is being held at Al-Manara International Conference Centre, New Cairo, through Wednesday.

The event has attracted officials, local and global energy sector leaders, CEOs, and tens of thousands of attendees and delegates from the energy sector.

El-Sisi emphasized that while advanced countries in Europe and the US can fulfil their commitments due to their organizational and economic capacities, Egypt and Africa are struggling to implement theirs.

He stressed that fulfilling such commitments becomes extremely challenging in low-income countries.

Energy commitments in Egypt

El-Sisi referred to Egypt’s achievements over the past decade to fulfil its energy commitments, including increasing the number of households connected to the natural gas network to 15 million.

This initiative has enabled 60 percent of residential units in Egypt to utilize natural gas, but it required significant time, effort, and financial resources, the president said.

El-Sisi also addressed the challenges posed by the poor conditions of Egypt’s infrastructure and roads, which led to annual losses of around $9-10 billion.

“Over the past seven years, I would humbly say that we have successfully overcome this problem but at a tremendous cost,” El-Sisi stated.

Financing climate commitments

El-Sisi questioned whether international financial institutions, witnessing Egypt's efforts and accomplishments, have shown readiness to provide low-cost financing to support the implementation of such commitments and plans.

He stressed that this question applies to Egypt and Africa as a whole, highlighting the implications for countries with modest economies if they do not receive the necessary funding.

The president referred to the $100 billion pledge advanced countries made to help developing economies meet climate action goals, which was endorsed during the 2015 Paris Climate Conference (COP21).

These commitments have not been fully honoured by the pledging states, he added.

“These commitments were made by advanced and giant countries, which bear significant responsibility for global climate change issues,” the president stated.

Economic hurdles

El-Sisi highlighted the challenges facing Egypt, including the economic implications of the COVID-19 pandemic and the Russia-Ukraine crisis, as well as the turbulence along Egypt's borders with Libya, Sudan, and the Gaza Strip.

He noted a 40-50 percent drop in Suez Canal revenues, which used to contribute about $10 billion annually to Egypt, amid the ongoing regional developments.

“All this is going on while the Egyptian government is committed to fulfilling its obligations with petroleum companies, development partners, and financial institutions,” the president said.

El-Sisi emphasized that Egypt has been diligently attempting to fulfil its commitments, even though they require significant financial resources.

He expressed readiness to undertake further commitments if additional financing opportunities arise.

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