Egypt’s aim of scaling up its engagement with the private sector in 2021 is expected to be a key theme for the upcoming year, according to Minister of International Cooperation Rania Al-Mashat.
During an interview with Bloomberg TV, Minister Al-Mashat said that one-third of total development financing was dedicated to the private sector in 2020, accounting for $3.1bn out of a total of $9.8bn.
The minister underlined that this is an opportunity to showcase Egypt’s past successes in securing development financing. This has, in return, led to increased confidence and enthusiasm for investors to provide more development financing, despite the shortcomings of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
She also said that multilateralism was vital in helping Egypt march ahead with achieving the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in all of its development projects. This includes a cooperation portfolio with a total of 377 projects worth $25 bn.
The top three funded sectors, which collectively received 62% of ODA financing, are: Goal 7 for Affordable and Clean Energy; Goal 9 relating to Industries, Innovations and Infrastructure; and Goal 6 relating to Clean Water and Sanitation.
For Goal 7, the minister referred to the Benban Solar Park project in Aswan, which was carried out with the cooperation of 45 private companies, as evidence of Egypt’s engagement with the private sector. There are currently 34 projects worth $5,950m under Goal 7; 36 projects worth $5,737m under Goal 9; and 43 projects worth $4,999m under Goal 6.
Minister Al-Mashat added that green growth and environmental initiatives have also recently become a top priority, which aligns global and national priorities. In return, it reinforces Egypt’s commitment to deepen its engagement with the private sector, to encourage innovation and growth according to the environmental, social, and governance (ESG) principles.
Egypt recently issued the first green bonds in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. The move reaffirms the country’s commitment to engage with the private sector and investors in green financing and sustainable development projects, Minister Al-Mashat said.
The report, entitled ‘International Partnerships for Sustainable Development’, tracks Egypt’s progress towards the 17 SDGs.
The report draws on the latest available data found in the Ministry’s ODA SDG mapping exercise, and provides an overview of Egypt’s implementation efforts. It highlights areas of progress and the implications of the COVID-19 pandemic on each SDG.
To reflect the changing global dynamic amid the global health crisis, the Ministry of International Cooperation has been working to apply the three principles of economic diplomacy. These are: organising multi-stakeholder platforms; ODA SDG mapping; and the Global Partnerships Narrative (People&Projects&Purpose).