Hosted by the United Nations, Ministry of International Cooperating participated in the “Development Partners Group” meeting on Tuesday in a hybrid event with over 46 participants from Egypt’s development partners to promote effective development dialogue, cooperation and coordination in support of national development priorities and endorse the ‘investing in dialogue’ roadmap for 2021.
The DPG meeting aims to harness and harmonize the development efforts of all diverse actors involved in development – government, development partners, private sector, and civil society and pave the road to effective and transparent cooperation. Engaging with the different development partners, H.E. Rania al Mashat presented a comprehensive presentation of key highlights on the Ministry’s development efforts in 2020, with multilateral and bilateral partners across priority sectors. “Egypt has made huge strides towards more open, inclusive and responsive development cooperation through our principles of economic diplomacy, which include regularly organizing multi-stakeholder platforms to ensure that all projects between development partners are streamlined and effectively coordinated; adopting a consistent Global Partnerships Narrative People&Projects&Purpose (P&P&P); and mapping ODA financing to SDGs for all projects with multilateral and bilateral development partners,” Minister of International Cooperation, H.E. Dr. Rania Al Mashat stated. Richard Dictus, UN Resident Coordinator, praised the Ministry’s efforts to push the envelope in pushing for transparent and open dialogue, expressing his determination to deepen the existing strategic partnership to promote prosperity, and economic, social and technological development. FOSTERING INCLUSIVE DIALOGUE Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the Ministry brought a new sense of urgency to support and protect livelihoods, as well as staying committed to pushing for progress through a green and sustainable recovery. This was exemplified through several projects, such as ‘Kemama’ which elevated voices from civil society and the community through the UNDP Egypt and El Nidaa Foundation; focusing on engaging Egyptian women from Upper Egypt to produce medical face masks, a shift from previous ready-made garment production. Positioning itself as a trusted and transparent source for development information, the Minister presented the Ministry’s comprehensive mapping exercise of all current effective projects to identify their alignment with relevant SDGs. Through the Ministry of International Cooperation, there are currently over 300 projects with various development partners across multiple sectors including in education, transportation, water desalination, renewable energy, entrepreneurship, and women empowerment. The minister added that the Ministry is working to promote the use of joint evaluation missions and field visits; referring to the visits that were carried out with the World Food Programme and USAID to Luxor to review the progress of development projects and engage with the local communities. To promote engagement and open dialogue on progress, the Minister added that the Ministry has institutionalized regular monitoring of ODA financed projects at all stages of the project cycle to review projects’ performance and implement corrective actions. Additionally, in June 2020, the Ministry of International Cooperation launched an international newsletter “The Weekly Digest” that is distributed to all multilateral and bilateral development partners weekly to highlight Egypt’s development story within the “People & Projects & Purpose” Global Partnerships Narrative Framework. Recently, the Ministry of International Cooperation launched short byte-sized content fit for digital and social media channels, depicting development projects around Egypt through storytelling in a contemporary and captivating way. STREAMLINED HARMONIZATION FOR SECTORS To ensure that vital sectors, such as MSMEs, women empowerment and agriculture, capture a larger share of the GDP, the Ministry has been working to establish a structured approach, whereby all development partners collaborate to define meaningful targeted interventions; each become accountable for a unique building block that would expedite delivery and encourage higher value-added activities. To achieve this, the Ministry of International Cooperation (MoIC) has embarked on streamlining efforts both “Internally” and with its “Development Partners” that are assisting in fostering inclusive growth in line with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) under one umbrella “Mindful Mobilization”. The minister noted that the Agriculture sector potential remains untapped – only 10% of agricultural products are being processed, representing 53% of agriculture’s export value. Another example of harmonizing development efforts is through the ‘Closing Gender Gap Accelerator’, which is a model for cooperation between the public and private sectors to support the efforts of governments and the business community towards taking substantive and effective measures to bridge gender gaps in all areas. MOVING FORWARD – ROADMAP FOR 2021 Together with all development partners, the Ministry of International Cooperation agreed to call for a "new era" of cooperation under the motto of “Investing in dialogue” to promote effective development cooperation. The Ministry of International Cooperation have started planning for the future with its partners through strategizing the interventions for the upcoming period The ministry have finalized the discussion with: World Bank, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, European Union, European Investment Bank, USAID and Germany.