The year 2020 was a time of upheaval but also of renewal, following which many countries enjoyed the fruits of solidarity, multilateralism, and cooperation, according to Minister of International Cooperation Rania Al-Mashat.
Minister Al-Mashat also said that the world has been given an awakening to connect, communicate, and collaborate with each other.
The minister added that agility and adaptability are key to surviving in an ever-changing economy.
She noted that there are four elements of agile governance, which are: having an aligned vision; setting clear expectations; being transparent and communicating the message clearly; and having a matrix for implementation.
Minister Al-Mashat’s remarks came during a webinar titled “Agile Governance in a Creative Economy 4.0”, which was organised by the American University in Cairo (AUC) as part of its Alumni Webinar Series.
With the participation of over 300 guests, the session was moderated by Laurie Fitch, a Partner in the Strategic Advisory Group at PJT Partners, based in London.
During the session, the discussion included key learnings on leadership at a time of crisis, where Minister Al-Mashat conveyed the importance of action.
In 2020, the Ministry of International Cooperation secured $9.8bn in development financing, of which $3.2bn went to the private sector.
Despite the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, Egypt’s development efforts were not derailed.
She said that, “Instead, it is through agility, governance and creativity that we have pushed ahead.”
AUC President Francis Ricciardone said, “We have had to roll with technology as this pandemic has accelerated a lot of trends that were underway. Agility of management and governance is something we had to experience as a university this past year.”
Ricciardone also said, “We had to be agile in serving our students, faculty, and staff. While this has caused disruption, disruption releases creativity.”
Minister Al-Mashat explained that it is through Economic Diplomacy and its three principles that Egypt is moving towards an inclusive and sustainable future.
She noted that the three principles include: Multi-Stakeholder Platforms; ODA – SDG Mapping Framework; and the Global Partnerships Narrative that is “People at the Core, Projects in Action, and Purpose as the Driver”.
To ensure sustainability, multi-stakeholder platform meetings bring everyone such as policymakers, the private sector, and the civil society to the same discussion table, as good governance requires open conversations.
In regards to the SDG mapping, there are a total of about 377 projects amounting to over $25bn in Egypt. This consistent approach to mapping the SDGs contributes to a stronger sustainability focused narrative.
To tell Egypt’s story, the Minister shared that social media and digital platforms offer an opportunity to share the country’s cooperation with the world in an aligned and transparent way.
“In our annual report this year, the title is ‘Writing the Future in a Changing Global Dynamic’ and this is precisely what agility means. We need to use changes as opportunities to tap on everyone’s potential,” said Al-Mashat.
While reimagining the creative economy may seem intangible, the minister expressed that emerging technologies and the new ‘digital normal’ that the world has shifted to, created fundamental changes and opened new economic opportunities.
These economic opportunities in a newly imagined sphere need to be inclusive, as accelerating reform can only be made possible through gender parity.