The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) will launch a new programme to holistically develop Egyptian municipalities’ infrastructure, Nandita Parshad, managing director of Sustainable Infrastructure Group at the EBRD, told Daily News Egypt during her recent visit to Egypt, clarifying that the new programme will focus on existing cities, such as Alexandria, Port said, and Aswan.
“We aim to help the Egyptian cities to sustainably develop their own green infrastructure master plans. The programme will engage with the cities about their needs in water, waste water treatment, solid waste, and urban transport,” Parshad declared.
The EBRD intends to finance a number of infrastructure projects in the coming years in the Egyptian market, she said, adding, “We will not only focus on the space of renewable energy, but also in railways, municipal services, and water treatment.”
Infrastructure in Egypt is a big need, she affirmed, noting that the EBRD is committed to improving the quality of infrastructure which will develop the economy.
The EBRD has recently launched a technical support programme to sustain renewable energy and promote gender participation in the sector in Egypt which is one aspect of a joint $7m initiative, co-funded by the EBRD and the Green Climate Fund (GCF), she pointed out.
The programme aims to enhance renewable energy integration, policies and planning, in order to support the country to meet its target of 20% renewable energy generation by 2022, and 42% by 2035.
Furthermore, the programme will last for three years, she said, noting, “People working on the programme of renewable energy are expected to travel to some countries, such as Germany, China, Japan, the US, Brazil, and India, to identify the global practices and measures in the field of renewable and green energy. The programme aims to cooperate with the private sector and governmental companies.”
With one of the fastest-growing populations globally, Egypt has seen a rapid increase in energy demand in recent years. To meet that need, Egypt and the EBRD have identified scaling up the country’s renewable energy capacity as a strategic priority, according to a past statement by the bank.
As a result, the Egyptian renewable energy sector is set to create new jobs–which represents a significant opportunity for women in Egypt to expand their skills and participate in a high-value, high-growth sector.
The programme will also strive to identify the challenges which prevent women’s participation in the sector and potential skills’ mismatches and will work with Egyptian authorities to overcome these issues.
Since rapidly growing markets offer multiple opportunities for innovation and entrepreneurship to thrive, the programme will have a specific focus on looking at the impact that new renewable energy projects can have for women-led small and medium-sized enterprises.
Additionally, Parshad said that Egyptian authorities asked the EBRD to consider supporting the Damietta Port, adding, “We are in a very early stage. If the feasibility study looks good, we will finance the project. We want to make sure that the environmental standard is good.”
Egypt’s Ministry of Transport is conducting a master plan for developing Egyptian ports to be finalised by July 2019, which will help the EBRD to add the related part of Damietta Port to its studies before it takes a financial decision, Parshad added.