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  • Wednesday, 18 May 2022

Minister of International Cooperation Participates in Panel Discussion on Financing Green Projects & AfCFTA in the 54th Session of the “Economic Commission for Africa Conference of African Ministers of Finance, Planning and Economic Development”

The Minister of International Cooperation H.E. Dr. Rania A. Al-Mashat participated in the virtual session on financing green growth and the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) in its 54th Session of the “Economic Commission for Africa Conference of African Ministers of Finance, Planning and Economic Development”. This is alongside the Director General of the Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa (BADEA), Sidi Ould Tah; the Secretary General of the AfCFTA Secretariat, Wamkele Mene; Minister of Finance in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, H.E. Nicolas Kazadi; and Deputy Minister of Finance for the Republic of South Africa, David Masondo.

During her speech, Al-Mashat stressed the importance of strengthening multilateral cooperation, and the role that development banks and international institutions can play in promoting green growth in the African continent. The Minister pointed out that the COP27, to be held in Egypt in November, will be crucial in highlighting Africa’s efforts towards a green economy transition, in line with reducing harmful emissions and providing the necessary development finance. 

Al-Mashat referred to Egypt’s experience in international cooperation and in development financing, noting the importance of pushing for South-South Cooperation to exchange knowledge and experiences so as to advance the 2030 global agenda. The Minister also explained that innovative financing constitutes one of the most important mechanisms for consolidating cooperation among relevant entities to stimulate green investments from the private sector.

Moreover, Al-Mashat pointed out that there are various development opportunities in Africa through the AfCFTA and via digital transformation and e-commerce. The Minister also referred to a workshop previously held within the activities of the Egypt - International Cooperation Forum (Egypt - ICF) last September on “AfCFTA: Prospects and Challenges of Digital Trade for the Private Sector” which included the participation of international and regional institutions and representations across the continent and across governments. 

H.E. highlighted the forum’s communique and its recommendations, which emphasized the role of the AfCFTA in promoting growth and integration of African economies in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. The communique also emphasized the need to finalize negotiations on the e-commerce protocol as a guiding tool for harmonizing data regulations, to facilitate cross-border e-commerce and activate taxes on e-commerce. In turn, this would enhance the overall economic recovery, and benefit youth, women, and small and medium-sized enterprises engaged in e-commerce.

The communique also spotlighted the need to establish an enabling environment for cross-border e-commerce in Africa that requires robust communication infrastructure, cost-effective modes of transportation, standardized tax systems, reliable payment solutions and a general awareness of customs regulations and procedures.

Al-Mashat added that the second edition of the Egypt - ICF will represent an important African and international gathering ahead of the COP27, to enhance discussions on climate action efforts, promote green development in Africa, and advance innovative financing discussions to achieve sustainable development.