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  • Sunday, 26 May 2024

Minister of International Cooperation Meets with Chief of UN Global Compact Africa to Explore Joint Cooperation Opportunities and Integrate Initiatives Aimed at Empowering the Private Sector and Promoting Sustainability Principles

Dr. Rania Al-Mashat, Minister of International Cooperation, met with Ms. Tolulope Lewis Tamoka, Chief of the UN Global Compact Africa, where the meeting witnessed the exploration of areas of joint cooperation between the government and the UN Global Compact, within the framework of the strong partnership between the Arab Republic of Egypt and the United Nations and the implementation of the Strategic Partnership Framework for the period 2023-2027.

At the beginning of the meeting, Minister of International Cooperation welcomed Ms. Tamoka, and congratulated her on the convening of the first annual UN Global Compact forum in Egypt. H.E.highlighted the importance of the forum in encouraging and promoting private sector companies in Egypt to adopt sustainable practices and environmental and social standards, which will support the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Dr. Al-Mashat emphasized that the principles and objectives that the UN Global Compact seeks to implement are consistent with the efforts made within the framework of the partnership between the government and the United Nations in Egypt, as well as partnerships with multilateral and bilateral development partners. 

The Minister stressed that the development and empowerment of the private sector is a major component of these partnerships, in light of the role it can play in leading development efforts, promoting environmental and social practices, encouraging the adoption of SDGs, and supporting government efforts to achieve development.

The two sides explored ways to enhance mutual cooperation, especially in the field of exchanging experiences and knowledge. In this regard, the Minister of International Cooperation reviewed the ministry's efforts in launching the "Hub for Advisory, Finance and Investment for Entreprises" platform to the private sector, to become the link between development partners and the private sector by providing various financial and non-financial services to the private sector, whether large, small, medium, or micro-enterprises, as well as startups.

Al-Mashat explained that this platform is part of governmental initiatives on various levels to empower the private sector, and it utilizes the latest technologies to facilitate tenders, initiatives, technical assistance, consultations, and capacity building for private sector companies to enhance the business environment in Egypt. 

The Minister pointed out that cooperation with the United Nations Global Compact in Africa can be strengthened to enhance South-South cooperation and transfer Egyptian expertise to African countries to maximize the benefits of development cooperation.

The two sides also discussed joint cooperation in the field of women's empowerment, especially in light of the multiple initiatives launched in cooperation with multilateral and bilateral development partners. 

They also explored the implementation of the "Closing the Gender Gap Accelerator" initiative, which was launched by the Ministry in cooperation with the National Council for Women and the World Economic Forum. The initiative serves as a comprehensive platform that includes various initiatives aimed at empowering women. In this regard, the two sides discussed the possibility of integrating efforts in this area to maximize the efforts to increase women's economic and social participation, engage the private sector in these efforts, and apply the principles and foundations of women's empowerment.

The Cheif of the UN Global Compact Africa reviewed the “Unstoppable Africa” initiative, which was launched in September 2023 in New York. The initiative aims to become a global platform that strengthens communication between business leaders, governments, investors, and non-profit organizations from Africa and the world to stimulate solutions to development challenges and encourage trade policies and financial opportunities, which will enhance the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The Minister of International Cooperation presented the experience of launching the national platform for the "NWFE" program, which is an innovative platform to promote private sector participation in stimulating climate action and increasing climate investments, in partnership with multilateral and bilateral development partners.

The UN Global Compact is the world's largest corporate sustainability initiative. It seeks to expand the range of solutions that address global challenges. The Compact also calls on private sector organizations to engage in sustainable practices. The UN Global Compact network includes 15,000 companies and 3,000 non-business entities in more than 162 countries and 69 local networks.

Dr. Al-Mashat had opened the first annual UN Global Compact forum, held in Cairo the week before last, under the title "Towards a Sustainable Africa". The forum was organized by the Egyptian Network for the UN Global Compact (UNGCNE), with the participation of Dr. Mahmoud Mohieldin, the UN Secretary-General's Special Envoy on Financing the Sustainable Development Goals, Ambassador Christian Berger, Head of the European Union Delegation to Egypt, Ms. Tolulope Lewis Tamoka. UNGC Chief Intergovernmental Affairs & Africa, Ms. Elena Panova, UN Resident Coordinator in Egypt, and Mr. Ayman Ismail, Chairman of the Board, UNGC Network Egypt.