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  • Monday, 18 April 2022

To Drive Impactful Transformative Initiatives, Ministry of International Cooperation and UNDP Launch Multi-Stakeholder Platform on South-South and Triangular Cooperation

With the ambition to drive impactful transformative initiatives, the Ministry of International Cooperation is continually aiming to enlarge and deepen its partnerships by building a “network of networks” where new and diverse actors from around the world are involved in inclusive dialogue.

The Ministry of International Cooperation and the United Nations Development Program launched a multi-stakeholder platform titled, ‘Towards Effective South-South and Triangular Cooperation’, which included the virtual participation of more than 60 representatives from governments and multilateral and bilateral development partners, including the World Food Programme, the Islamic Development Bank, the World Bank, the International Finance Corporation, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the Climate Investment Funds (CIF), and the African Development Bank.

The multi-stakeholder platform capitalizes on the growing appetite for a deeper partnership between all stakeholders to save time and resources by building on existing projects and identifying significant opportunities and lessons learned to bridge the different contexts and starting points when it comes to critical domains of cooperation. 

The Minister of International Cooperation, H.E Dr. Rania A. Al-Mashat, noted that South-South and triangular cooperation offers an opportunity to catalyze action and transfer Egypt’s experience in sustainable development to other countries in the region. 

She added that in efforts to strengthen cooperation with development partners to leverage Egypt’s pivotal role in Africa through South-South and triangular cooperation, the Ministry of International Cooperation, organized a workshop on “Triangular Cooperation with Africa” during the Egypt–International Cooperation Forum 2021. 

Egypt has pushed ahead in project innovation through implementation and design simultaneously, as the ‘Decent Life’ initiative illustrates its unique approach in bringing together a variety of stakeholders, from development partners to local actors, and targeting a multitude of interconnected SDG goals. 

The Minister added that the multi-stakeholder platform marks the beginning of continuous discussions to set up working groups and mechanisms for South-South and triangular cooperation. The Ministry has also revamped the South-South Development Academy to showcase successful development practices, especially those implemented in cooperation with development partners.

For his part, Alessandro Fracassetti, Resident Representative of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), noted that Egypt is presented as a leading example to the region and the continent, and that there is an opportunity this year in Egypt to work on some of these best practices in the run-up to COP27. He added, "South-South cooperation plays an indispensable role in today's development landscape and the future of development, and is one of the topics of particular importance to the program and part of its strategy. The program estimates that 13-19% of its development support already includes South-South cooperation."

In his remarks, CEO of the International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation, Eng. Hani Salem Sonbol, expressed the support of the Islamic Development Bank Group for the objectives of this platform and its quest for effective South-South and triangular cooperation. He added that financing is not the only solution for South-South cooperation, but technical cooperation is also essential. The bank’s TCP (Technical Cooperation Programme) supports the transfer and exchange of skills, knowledge and the know-how to member countries.

Yasmine El Hini, Country Director of the International Finance Corporation, the arm of the World Bank for financing the private sector, stressed the importance of the initiative and the role of South-South cooperation in promoting Egypt’s successful private sector projects to other countries in Africa and transfer experiences. 

Mohamed Al-Azizi, Director General at the African Development Bank for North Africa, shared significant initiatives and project stories that present lessons learned for South-South and triangular cooperation, such as the Desert to Power that stretches across the Sahel region, connecting; 250 million people with electricity by tapping into the region's abundant solar resources. 

In his remarks,  Mengstab Haile, Regional Director of the World Food Program for South Africa, said that the program has implemented ambitious partnerships with Egypt, the most important of which is the Luxor Center for Innovation and Knowledge Exchange. He added that the African Union considers Egypt as a model for knowledge exchange, and that there is an opportunity to coordinate more platforms to share success stories and experiences.