Egypt’s Ministry of International Cooperation has hosted a second virtual multi-stakeholder platform, entitled “Global Partnerships for Effective Development Cooperation”, to discuss ways of combating the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).
The first meeting was held on 2 April 2020 with over 120 representatives from 45 international institutions and foreign governments participating. The meeting was held to discuss the Egyptian government’s Response and Rebuild strategy, alongside immediate requests by the Ministry of Health and Population to combat the pandemic in Egypt.
It also looked at the Ministry of International Cooperation’s Global Partnerships Narrative, focusing on three paths, namely: People at the core, Projects in action, and Purpose as the driver.
The most recent meeting to take place acknowledged the cooperation needed to combat the coronavirus. It also highlighted the active ongoing partnerships portfolio and wide array of projects and initiatives that are under negotiation and implementation.
These are taking place in various sectors, including health, electricity, transportation, housing, community development, education and women empowerment. Its emphasis is on partnerships that directly support the private sector, through financing by domestic banks.
Several development partners took part in the second meeting, including representatives from: the UN and its agencies; the World Bank Group; the International Finance Corporation (IFC); Islamic Development Bank (ISDB); the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (ERDB); the African Development Bank (AfDB); and the Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA). Also in attendance were representatives from several foreign governments; including the UK, Spain, Canada, France, Germany, and the European Union (EU), among others.
“Increased coordinated action is key to boosting confidence and providing stability to the global, regional and local economy,” said Rania Al-Mashat, Egypt’s Minister of International Cooperation. “The ministry, through pillars of Economic Diplomacy that were identified early on, aims to ensure that COVID-19 does not derail us from pushing forward with the SDG agenda.”
The Ministry of International Cooperation aims to push the frontiers of collaboration through economic diplomacy. It is aimed at strengthening partnerships to achieve value-centric results through the set up of Multi-Stakeholder Platforms.
It also seeks to activate the ministry’s Global Partnerships Narrative and create the framework for Official Development Assistance (ODA) mapping to the sustainable development goals. The three pillars of economic diplomacy actively involve a wide range of stakeholders to enhance a sense of ownership, and developed knowledge. It looks at creating a link between different governance levels and most significantly improved policy formulation.
Since April 2020, the Ministry of International Cooperation has organised a number of participatory Multi-Stakeholder platforms in various sectors. This has been seen as particularly important with the spread of the coronavirus crisis, with the platforms focusing on discussing several areas such as health, public enterprises, transportation, rural and agricultural development and gender quality. It also seeks to monitor progress in the implementation of projects.
“With only a small percentage of people aware of the [Social Development Goals] SDGs, effective communication on development stories is essential to produce future agents of change that can accelerate progress in development and impact more human lives, and this is how we build back better,” Minister Al-Mashat said.