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  • Wednesday, 14 February 2024

The Minister of International Cooperation, H.E. Dr. Rania A. Al-Mashat, Discusses Strengthening the Strategic Partnership with the IFC to Empower the Private Sector

● Al-Mashat: The IFC is a strategic partner for the government to empower the private sector and increase investments in various fields.

The Minister of International Cooperation and Governor of Egypt at the World Bank Group , H.E. Dr. Rania A. Al-Mashat, held a meeting with a high-level delegation from the International Finance Corporation (IFC), headed by Cheick-Oumar Sylla, the institution’s Regional Director for North Africa and the Horn of Africa, Jumoke Jagun-Dokunmu, Chief Investment Officer for Africa, and Saad Sabra, Director of the new IFC office in Egypt.

During the meeting, various aspects of existing cooperation with the IFC were discussed to empower the private sector and increase investments in all fields in light of the Country Partnership Framework (CPF) between the Arab Republic of Egypt and the World Bank 2023- 2027, and the government's efforts to empower the private sector and enhance its role in development efforts.

During the meeting, Al-Mashat welcomed the IFC’s delegation and the Chief Investment Officer in Africa, as well as the new Director of the IFC’s office in Egypt. H.E. stressed the close relations with the IFC, as the arm of the World Bank for financing the private sector, and the partnerships implemented over the past years to increase the IFC’s investments in Egypt in various private sector companies to support development efforts, worth over $7 billion.

The meeting discussed the IFC’s goals in the continent of Africa and its desire to increase the volume of investments and diversify programs to include more sectors and non-targeted groups. Al-Mashat also discussed the existing partnerships with the government to enhance the empowerment of the private sector in Egypt.

They also discussed the desire of the IFC to participate in implementing the projects of the Presidential Initiative “Haya Karima” to develop the villages in rural areas in Egypt, by financing private sector companies participating in the initiative.

The IFC applauded the initiative and its role in improving the standard of living of citizens in rural villages and its direct impact on the lives of citizens through infrastructure development as well as increasing investment efforts in human capital.

The meeting also discussed the role of the MSMEs in financing small projects within the presidential initiative “Haya Karima,” and the possibility of enhancing cooperation with the IFC to increase financing available to the private sector at the level of small and medium enterprises.

Al-Mashat highlighted the government’s keenness to strengthen the strategic partnership with the IFC, which will be reflected in an increase in investments and financing directed to the private sector in various fields, in light of the strategy being implemented with the World Bank, which is based on three main pillars: More and Better Private Sector Jobs: through supporting the creation of an empowering environment for private sector-led investments and job opportunities as well as creating a level playing field for the private sector; Enhanced Human Capital Outcomes: through supporting the provision of inclusive, equitable and improved health and education services as well as effective social protection programs; and Improved Resilience to Shocks: through strengthened macroeconomic management, and climate change adaptation and mitigation measures.

Al-Mashat referred to the report that the IFC is preparing to encourage foreign direct investments in the health care sector in Egypt, stressing the government’s interest in this sector and encouraging the participation of the private sector in implementing its projects.

The relationship between the Egyptian government and the IFC is part of the broader relationship with the World Bank, and the relationship with the institution is based on three principles: employment, integration, and comprehensiveness. The institution’s current investment portfolio in Egypt amounts to about $1.84 billion in the sectors of financial markets, agricultural business, health, education, manufacturing, tourism, retail, construction, real estate, infrastructure, petroleum and mining. In January 2024, the IFC pumped investments into the private sector worth $26.8 million in a number of sectors.

In June 2023, the government signed an agreement with the IFC, under which the institution will provide advisory services and technical support for the asset monetization program, in light of Egypt’s commitment to this program as one of the tools for empowering the private sector and increasing its contribution to the Egyptian economy, based on the directives of the President of the Republic.