The Egyptian Parliament approved on Sunday Rania Al-Mashat as Minister of International Cooperation, succeeding Sahar Nasr.
Al-Mashat served as Egypt’s Minister of Tourism since January 2018 until now, becoming the first woman to hold the Tourism portfolio in Egypt.
During her tenure, Egypt’s tourism sector improved and its revenues hiked 28.2% during the last Fiscal Year (FY), recording $12.570bn, compared to only $9.804bn, according to the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE)`s balance of payment.
In addition to launching Egypt’s Tourism Reform Programme (E-TRP) that aims to strengthen the sector’s competitiveness, she updated the hospitality criteria in Egyptian hotels which was not updated since 2006. British air flights also returned to Sharm El Sheikh.
The Egyptian Ministry of Tourism also won the Global Leaders Award for “Outstanding Contribution to the Industry” at the World Travel Market (WTM) 2019 in London.
Before being Egypt’s Minister of Tourism, Al-Mashat served as a senior economic adviser to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), also making the first woman to hold that position.
Born on 20 June 1975, Al-Mashat recieved a BA in Economics from the American University in Cairo (AUC) in 1995 and a Master of Economics from the University of Maryland-College Park in the US in 1998. She then obtained a PhD in Economics from the same university in 2001.
During the period between June 2001 and July 2005, Al-Mashat worked as an economist at the IMF, in which she was the youngest person ever to join the organisation at 25 years old.
Al-Mashat became deputy governor of the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE)’s Monetary Policy Committee since August 2005, until she returned to the IMF in May 2016.
While serving as the deputy governor of the CBE’s Monetary Policy Commitee (MPC), she developed the CBE`s monetary policy and participated in the country’s total economic policy management in cooperation with the relevant ministries and economic agencies.
She also took over a liaison between the CBE and the IMF, as well as international credit rating institutions, and was on the negotiations team for the financial and economic reform programme between 2011 and 2013.
Al-Mashat received numerous awards including being named a young leader during the Young Global Leaders during the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland in 2014, and selected among the 50 most influential women in the Egyptian economy in 2015 by a specialised magazine.
The Institut Choiseul for International Politics and Geoeconomics in Paris also chose her as one of its 100 young African leaders in 2014 and 2015. The French government also named her among future leaders in 2013. She was also the recipient of the 2013 Distinguished Alumni Award from the AUC.
Al-Mashat was also awarded the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) Global Champion Award at the 2019 Global Summit in Seville, Spain for her country’s work on promoting tourism resilience, becoming the first tourism Minister from Arab country to receive this award.