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  • Thursday, 25 May 2023

During the Annual Meetings of the African Development Bank (AfDB) in Sharm El-Sheikh, the Minister of International Cooperation H.E. Dr. Rania A. Al-Mashat Held Several Bilateral Meetings with Multilateral and Bilateral Development Partners

● Al-Mashat discussed formulating economic cooperation priorities with the British Minister for International and African Development

● Al-Mashat discussed strengthening South-South cooperation and stimulating women's empowerment efforts with the Canadian Minister of International Development

● Emphasizing the importance of Egyptian-German relations, discussing the ongoing portfolio of development cooperation and supporting the energy pillar  within the "NWFE" program

● Discussions about expanding cooperation with Norway in the field of renewable energy and stimulating joint action.

● Al-Mashat discussed the transfer of expertise and development experiences to Africa and the promotion of regional integration with the director of the New Partnership for Africa's Development Agency (NEPAD)

Within the framework of the Minister of International Cooperation H.E. Dr. Rania A. Al-Mashat’s meetings with multilateral and bilateral development partners to enhance development efforts and development cooperation, during the activities of the annual meetings of the AfDB in Sharm El-Sheikh, to strengthen bilateral relations with multilateral and bilateral development partners, H.E. met with UK’s Minister for International Development and Africa Andrew Mitchell,  Canada’s Minister for International Development Harjit Sajjan, Bjørg Sandkjær, Minister of State for International Cooperation at the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Nardos Bekele-Thomas, Executive Director of the NEPAD and Bärbel Köfler, Parliamentary State Secretary of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development.

This comes within the framework of the role played by the Ministry of International Cooperation, to strengthen and develop economic relations with multilateral and bilateral development partners, and international and regional organizations, and manage the relations of the Arab Republic of Egypt with organizations, bodies and institutions of economic cooperation and international and regional financing to ensure continuity of specialized organization of the UN in the field of economic cooperation, in a way that enhances the achievement of economic development.

Egyptian-British Relations

Al-Mashat met with Mitchell where they discussed developments in the Climate Finance Accelerator (CFA), which was launched in cooperation with the United Kingdom, in light of joint efforts to support emerging companies and innovative solutions in the field of climate action, with a value of £10 million, to advance climate action and collaborate with governments of middle-income countries to catalyze increased climate financing, through joint action between financing providers, experts and stakeholders in climate action.

The CFA  also encourages projects that contribute to the implementation of Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) in the country and builds the capacity of the cadres working on these projects. It has been implemented before that in Nigeria, Mexico, Colombia, Turkey, South Africa and Peru.

During the meeting, the Al-Mashat stressed the importance of Egyptian-British relations, and the joint statement issued in 2020 to enhance economic cooperation between the two countries, pointing to the importance of formulating a vision for future relations between the two sides in light of common priorities to enhance technical support efforts and development funds to support Egypt's Vision 2030.

Egyptian Canadian Relations

Al-Mashat met the Canadian Minister of International Development, in the presence of Louis Dumas, Canadian Ambassador to Cairo, and the technical team of the Ministry of International Cooperation, where they discussed strengthening joint development cooperation efforts.

At the beginning of the meeting, Al-Mashat expressed her appreciation for the progress of joint efforts with the Canadian side during the recent period, as a reflection of the relationship that extends over more than 6 decades, to promote common development priorities and advance sustainable development efforts.

H.E. stressed the importance of the efforts made with the Canadian side in the field of empowering women, in line with the national strategy for the empowerment of women in 2030, in addition to joint programs to support family planning efforts and promote commercial and agricultural businesses. The meeting also witnessed a discussion on the scholarship program in light of the efforts to enhance investment in human capital, in addition to expanding the scope of cooperation in the field of health care.

The two sides discussed the pillars of the Nexus for Water, Food and Energy platform, the "NWFE" program, and the Government of Egypt’s efforts to stimulate climate action, through the program that promotes the transition from pledges to implementation, via joint work with multilateral and bilateral development partners, international partnerships for climate action, the private sector, and multilateral development banks pointing out that these projects and other development experiences represent pioneering models that can be replicated on the African continent within the framework of South-South cooperation in cooperation with Canada.

The Minister of International Cooperation, with the Canadian Minister of Development, also reviewed efforts to stimulate climate finance through the issuance of the “Sharm El-Sheikh Guidebook for Just Financing.”

The Canadian Minister of International Development affirmed his country's keenness to enhance joint cooperation with the Egyptian side and move forward in efforts to empower women and climate action, stressing the importance of the measures taken in relation to the implementation of the "NWFE" program.

It is worth noting that since 1976, developments in the Egyptian-Canadian development cooperation relations have recorded the total aid and technical support over this period amounting to about CA$1.22 billion, of which CA$567.6 million are in the form of grants, and the remaining value is soft development funds.

Meeting with the Executive Director of the African Union Agency for Development "NEPAD"

In another context, Al-Mashat met with Bekele-Thomas, Executive Director of the NEPAD, an initiative that was launched in the light of African integration to enhance development efforts, eradicate poverty, strengthen regional partnerships, enhance food security efforts, and develop human capital.

During the meeting, H.E. emphasized Egypt's keenness to achieve integration with the countries of the African continent, and to utilize the close relations between Egypt and the multilateral and bilateral development partners, to enhance efforts to transfer expertise and development experiences to the countries of the continent through South-South cooperation.

H.E referred to what the Ministry of International Cooperation has done, in mapping development financing with the UN SDGs for accurate knowledge of the use of development funds in all sectors, whether infrastructure or entrepreneurship, efforts for equal opportunities among genders, and cooperative efforts with all UN agencies.

Al-Mashat stated that all development cooperation efforts for Egypt are based on the principles of economic cooperation and development, for effective development cooperation, which is state ownership, focus on results, comprehensive partnerships, transparency and shared responsibility, to maximize the return from development cooperation efforts in a manner that meets the requirements and priorities of the developmental state, explaining that Egypt has implemented mega infrastructure projects.

H.E. drew attention to the initiatives launched by Egypt during the climate conference to promote the transition from climate pledges to implementation through the launch of the "NWFE" program and the “Sharm El-Sheikh Guidebook for Just Financing”, pointing to the importance of strengthening cooperation between Africa and the international community in various sectors.

The Minister also referred to the results of the meetings of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and its endeavor to direct and expand its operations in sub-Saharan Africa, which is a great opportunity to enhance South-South cooperation and support the efforts of regional institutions in Africa to achieve development. For her part, Thomas stressed the importance of South-South cooperation and its role in supporting development in the continent, and supporting efforts to exchange knowledge and development experiences.

German-Egyptian Relations

Al-Mashat also met with Köfler, the Parliamentary State Secretary of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development where they discussed additional areas in light of the country's developmental priorities.

Al-Mashat discussed with the German side the development of the ongoing portfolio of cooperation in light of joint work within the implementation of the energy axis of "NWFE" program, through debt swaps and blended financing, and the pioneering debt swap program for development, where the first and second tranches were implemented. Within the program, with a value of €160 million euros, 10 projects were implemented in the sectors of sanitation, renewable energy, competitiveness promotion, e-government, and technical and vocational training.

The two sides also discussed the technical support efforts that are made available through the German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ) in various fields, and Al-Mashat stressed the importance of the grant which was recently signed with the GIZ- to implement the e-government and innovation support project, in a way that enhances national efforts in this area.

Cooperation between Egypt and Norway

Additionally, Al-Mashat discussed with Bjørg Sandkjær, Minister of State for International Cooperation at the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, enhancing common priorities in the field of food security, stimulating investments in the field of climate action and renewable energy, stressing the depth of relations between Egypt and the European Union and mutual relations in the fields of work, with priority to strengthening food security efforts, building silos to enhance the country's ability to face the challenges facing the world.

Al-Mashat notes Egypt's keenness to create a country model that can be replicated at the level of emerging economies and the world, by combining mitigation and adaptation projects with the repercussions of climate change, by launching the "NWFE" program to stimulate blended financing and mobilize various financing mechanisms. H.E. pointed out that the development cooperation portfolio Egypt has more than 300 projects that could represent an important base for enhancing South-South cooperation with developing countries and the economies of the African continent.

Sandkjær said that Norway holds long-standing relations with the AfDB, and appreciates the efforts made by Egypt to enhance development efforts, stimulate joint action in the field of climate action, and stimulate sustainable development efforts. The two sides agreed to move forward in discussions on supporting development priorities, stimulating green investments, and enhancing support for development efforts through partnerships with UN agencies in Egypt.