● The agreements look into expanding areas of climate action, financing medium-sized companies, and implementing 4 desalination plants. The IFC aims to inject $2 billion in investments for the private sector within the 2023-2027 Country Partnership Framework (CPF).
● The Minister of International Cooperation witnessed the signing of a partnership between the IFC, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and the Sovereign Fund of Egypt to launch the implementation of 4 water desalination plants with a capacity of 335 thousand cubic meters per day.
● The Minister of International Cooperation witnessed the signing of two partnerships between the IFC, the Commercial International Bank (CIB) and Mediterrania Capital.
● Al-Mashat held a bilateral meeting with IFC’s Regional Vice President for Africa and heads of the institution to discuss mechanisms for expanding private sector financing in Egypt.
● Al-Mashat was keynote speaker at the Banking on the Future of Egypt Forum to discuss constructive cooperation between the IFC and the financial sector and efforts to empower women and small and medium enterprises.
In order to strengthen the existing and fruitful relations between the Arab Republic of Egypt and the IFC, the arm of the World Bank Group (WBG) for private sector financing, H.E. Dr. Rania A. Al-Mashat, Minister of International Cooperation and Governor of Egypt at the WBG, witnessed the signing of 3 agreements between the IFC and the private sector in Egypt in the areas of climate action, financing of medium-sized companies, and seawater desalination.
This took place within the IFC’s Regional Vice President for Africa Sergio Pimenta’s visit to Egypt. The visit also discussed joint programs with the private sector to stimulate its role in supporting comprehensive and sustainable growth efforts in various vital sectors that are consistent with the priorities and efforts of the state.
The joint activities between the Ministry of International Cooperation and the IFC coincided with the approval of the CPF of the WBG with the Arab Republic of Egypt for 2023-2027, which among its objectives is that the IFC injects $2 billion in investments and contributions in private sector companies over the period of the framework to enhance the already existing relationships and the accumulated investment portfolio, which varies in many vital sectors such as the financial sector, small and medium enterprises, start-ups, agribusiness, health, and financial markets, as well as advisory services and technical support.
Stimulating Public- Private Partnerships in the Water Desalination Sector
The Minister of International Cooperation and Vice President of the IFC for Africa Region witnessed the signing of a partnership between the IFC, the EBRD, and the Sovereign Fund of Egypt, to support the partnership between the government and private sectors and provide technical support and consultations for the development of 4 seawater desalination plants, which would save 335 thousand cubic meters of clean water per day. This will increase in the future to 650 thousand cubic meters in Matrouh Governorate and the North Coast region, in light of government efforts aimed at providing clean water and implementing the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Under this partnership, the IFC and the EBRD will provide technical support, funded by Germany and the Global Infrastructure Facility (GIF), for the design and implementation of a competitive international public-private partnership tender for the design, financing, construction, operation and maintenance of 4 desalination plants, as part of the agreement. The government’s strategy and vision is to increase the water supply by about 3.35 million cubic meters per day by 2025. The new projects and stations target the residents of Marsa Matrouh governorate as well as the neighboring areas on the northern coast.
The ongoing portfolio of the Ministry of International Cooperation includes 36 projects within the SDG 6: Clean Water and Sanitation, in 88 locations in the governorates of Egypt, accounting for about 20% of the total development cooperation portfolio.
2 Partnership Agreements with the Commercial International Bank & Mediterrania Capital
In another context, Al-Mashat and Pimenta witnessed the signing of two partnerships between the IFC on the one hand, the CIB and Mediterrania Capital to enhance cooperation in the field of supporting medium-sized companies and climate action.
In light of the partnership signed between the IFC and the CIB, the advisory project is set to contribute to enhancing the bank's compliance with climate risks, thus enhancing the guarantee of facing any financial risks related to climate action within the bank's financing portfolio, and integrating the principles of climate risk within CIB’s current risk framework which enhances the bank's compliance with international environmental standards and principles of climate action, and builds on the successful previous partnership, according to which the first green bonds for the private sector in Egypt were issued at a value of $100 million during 2021.
In another context, the IFC is working - in accordance with the partnership with Mediterrania Capital - to invest €25 million in Mediterrania Fund IV, in addition to €20 million in additional joint investments with the fund, to support the growth of the private sector in Africa in vital sectors. Mediterrania directs investments of €350 million in medium-sized companies in the sectors of healthcare, retail, financial services and manufacturing to develop the economy in the continent of Africa, paying special attention to companies led by women to enhance their access to the necessary economic opportunities.
Bilateral Meetings to Set Priorities for Future Cooperation
The Minister of International Cooperation and the Governor of Egypt at the WBG was keen to hold an expanded bilateral discussion session with the Vice President of the IFC for Africa, and the corporation’s heads in Egypt and the region, to discuss the current joint cooperation programs and contributions to stimulate private sector participation in development in line with the vision and efforts. During the meeting, the steps taken by the Government of Egypt was commended for issuing a state ownership policy document that sets clear standards and targets for private sector participation, and the role of this document in creating a more suitable environment to enable the private sector to play its role in supporting the development process.
Al-Mashat also indicated the importance of joint work with the IFC, and the necessity of its sustainability in order to move forward in opening horizons for private sector participation in various fields and expanding financing mechanisms and investments directed to companies of all kinds in Egypt, in addition to financing small and medium enterprises and enabling efforts. women economically and socially. In a related context, the meeting discussed the Nexus for Water, Food and Energy, the "NWFE" platform, and its role in stimulating the participation of the private sector and increasing its investments in the aforementioned priority sectors.
Banking on the Future of Egypt Forum
The Minister of International Cooperation delivered the keynote speech at the "Banking on the Future of Egypt" forum organized by the IFC, with the participation of the institution's leaders at the regional and local levels, many heads of Egyptian banks, representatives of the Egyptian banking sector and private sector companies.
Al-Mashat said that the partnership between the Arab Republic of Egypt and the IFC, the sector of the World Bank for financing the private sector, enhances the country's development vision, especially in light of the common priorities to stimulate green transformation and enhance environmental sustainability, stimulate private sector participation in development, and support equal opportunities across genders and digital transformation, pointing out that the successful partnership with the IFC could represent a model for partnerships between international financing institutions and emerging economies, in order to stimulate private sector participation in development efforts.
H.E. Al-Mashat also indicated that the IFC is a major partner in enhancing the participation of the private sector in development and making available funds and contributions to companies to support comprehensive and sustainable economic growth through companies between the relevant parties, explaining that one of the main topics of the meeting with financial institutions is highlighting the status of women in the Egyptian economy. In this regard, She pointed out that the political leadership is committed to women's participation in all aspects of development and various fields. The National Strategy for the Empowerment of Egyptian Women 2030 has also been launched, under which the government and relevant authorities work to empower women economically and socially as well as encourage female entrepreneurship and startups and create an enabling environment for innovative solutions for women's participation in the labor market.
She said that the partnership between the IFC and private sector institutions could represent a catalyst through more solutions, whether at the level of technical support or consulting, in order to remove barriers to achieving equal opportunities across genders, providing financial services to women, and enhancing their benefit by enabling them to launch new projects and develop their businesses.
It is worth noting that the cooperation portfolio with the IFC includes a number of consulting and technical support programs through public-private partnerships. This includes a cooperation portfolio of $1.5 billion in the financial markets sector, trade finance, agribusiness, education and health, manufacturing, retail, real estate, tourism, startups, and other sectors.