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  • Wednesday, 09 February 2022

Ministers of International Cooperation & Communications and Information Technology Witness Launch of the World Bank Group’s Report “Egypt Economic Monitor” for 2021

● The World Bank Group (WBG): The Egyptian economy is showing resilience, and economic growth is expected to be 5.5% by the end of the current fiscal year.

● Minister of International Cooperation H.E. Dr. Rania A. Al-Mashat: We are ready to formulate the new country strategy with the WBG within the framework of 3 priorities: good governance, regional integration, and women’s empowerment. ● Minister of Communications and Information Technology H.E. Dr. Amr Talaat: We are launching about 120 government services on the Digital Egypt platform. Egypt is also among the top 3 countries in Africa with an average fixed internet speed. ● Country Director for Egypt, Yemen and Djibouti Marina Wes: Unlocking the potential of the private sector is vital to sustain the economic recovery and to increase productivity. The Minister of International Cooperation H.E. Dr. Rania A. Al-Mashat and the Minister of Communications and Information Technology H.E. Dr. Amr Talaat, witnessed the launch of the World Bank Group’s (WBG) “Egypt Economic Monitor” report for 2021, highlighting the wide-range of the Government of Egypt’s digital transformation, and the most prominent macroeconomic indicators. The event also included the participation of the Country Director for Egypt, Yemen and Djibouti Marina Wes; and Nadir Mohammed, the Regional Director for Equitable Growth, Finance and Institutions (EFI) in the MENA region, alongside several officials from both ministries and the WBG.

The WBG’s report indicated that the Egyptian economy has shown resilience despite the COVID-19 pandemic, as macroeconomic stability and ongoing reforms witnessed by the energy sector during the past few years has enhanced the country’s ability to face challenges. The report also predicts that a gradual improvement in the economy will increase growth rates to return to pre-pandemic levels, reaching 5.5% in the 2021/2022 fiscal year. Moreover, the report highlights Egypt’s digital transformation, including the adoption of various digital technologies and the increased online services that have supported this transition and the “Digital Egypt” Strategy.

Al-Mashat explained that the ongoing development cooperation portfolio between Egypt and the WBG encompasses 15 projects worth $5.5 billion across sectors such as, education, health, transportation, social solidarity, petroleum, housing, sanitation, local development, and environment. In 2021, development financing agreements worth $1.4 billion were signed in support of supporting the Universal Health Insurance System Project (UHIS), the Egypt Inclusive Growth For Sustainable Recovery Development Policy Financing, the Railway Improvement And Safety For Egypt (RISE) Project, and the Greater Cairo Air Pollution Management And Climate Change Project. The Ministry of International Cooperation has also matched the WBG’s development financing to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Al-Mashat noted that the Ministry of International Cooperation, in accordance with national entities, is preparing country strategies with many development partners, including the WBG. The upcoming country strategies are based on several axes: improving the work environment and enhancing the role of the private sector, especially in creating more job opportunities; enhancing and developing the outputs associated with human capital investment; strengthening cooperation in climate action, especially in relation to mitigation and adaptation projects; and supporting development efforts in achieving sustainable economic growth and development. It is intended that the axes of this framework will be formulated through three cross-cutting priorities; good governance, regional integration, and women’s empowerment. With regard to development cooperation between Egypt and the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the WBG’s arm for financing the private sector, Al-Mashat stated that the current portfolio amounts to $1.3 billion in multiple sectors, adding the Ministry of International Cooperation also matched the secured development financing from 2016 to 2020 with the SDGs. The results showed that 44% of the development financing was directed to SDG 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth, and 38% to SDG 7: Affordable and Clean Energy, 7% to SDG 2: Zero Hunger, and 7% to SDG 9: Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure. Al-Mashat also touched on the country-led multi-stakeholder engagement framework that aims to maximize the socioeconomic returns from Official Development Assistance (ODA), to ensure the alignment of development interventions with the national objectives as well as with the SDGs, and to enhance the management of development cooperation for better implementation of development projects within Egypt. The Minister added that a multi-stakeholder platform was held last year in the presence of the Minister of Communications and Information Technology H.E. Dr. Amr Talaat where the “Digital Egypt” Strategy was presented, alongside the latest developments in the ICT sector, notably related to the Hayah Karima (Decent Life) initiative, “Electronic Manufacturing” and “Assistive Technologies” initiative. H.E. Al-Mashat added that within the portfolio of the Ministry of International Cooperation, there are currently 36 projects focused on innovation, digitalization and entrepreneurship contributing to 11 SDGs with a total development financing of $1 billion, secured through cooperation with 16 multilateral and bilateral development partners.