ultilateralism is now needed more than ever to set and implement global standards and frameworks across all stakeholders, according to Minister of International Cooperation Rania Al-Mashat.
Her remarks came during her participation in a high-level panel session during the third day of the World Youth Forum titled ‘The Role of International Institutions in Supporting the Post-COVID-19 Recovery from the Pandemic’ with Mahmoud Mohieldin, the Executive Director of the International Monetary Fund and Special Envoy To the Secretary-General of the United Nations; and Odile Renaud Basseau, the President of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.
Also in attendance were Nasser Kamel, the Secretary-General of the Union for the Mediterranean; Marina Wes, the Country Director for Egypt, Yemen, and Djibouti at the World Bank; Ahmed Rizk, the Deputy Regional Director of the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation; Laurent de Boeck, the Director of the Office of the Organisation for Migration; Eric Ochlan, the Director of the International Labour Organisation in Cairo; Benedict Orama, the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the African Export-Import Bank; and Leo Zhenmin, the Assistant Secretary-General of the United Nations for Social and Economic Affairs.
During the session, the minister underscored the importance of setting and implementing global frameworks that can be streamlined across all stakeholders in order to ensure transparency as well as inclusion of a variety of actors to push for inclusive and networked multilateralism, such as the private sector, civil society, and youths.
The minister presented her ministry’s framework for implementing international cooperation and development financing for Egypt, which streamlines all financing under one umbrella to avoid repetition and improve the management of international development cooperation to implement projects effectively.
The minister added that the strategic partnership between Egypt and international financial institutions delivered substantial results in Egypt’s own local development vision.
Furthermore, Egypt was able to withstand the repercussions of the pandemic as a result of its already existing partnership with all development partners, and that the role of international cooperation goes beyond than just ensuring enough financing, but also in providing a means to impact human lives and collaborate with different stakeholders, such as youths, to respond to their challenges and tap their innovative power to support the country’s development vision.
Al-Mashat also noted that the ministry’s role is focused on strengthening economic diplomacy through three principles: Multi-stakeholder platforms to streamline all development projects and bring together all stakeholders together at one table to discuss the country’s development priorities; ODA-SDG mapping, which is focused on mapping all development projects according to the SDGs to identify funding gaps and ensure transparency; and the Global Partnerships Narrative, which focuses on knowledge sharing between different countries and bridging technology gaps.
Over the past two years, the Ministry of International Cooperation held 14 multi-stakeholder platforms on health, the private sector, agriculture, transportation, women’s empowerment, digitisation, food security, and small and medium enterprises.
It is estimated that the ongoing development cooperation portfolio for 2021— which has not been released yet — will reach $25.5bn for 372 projects, which will aim to achieve Goal 9 for Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure, accounting for the largest percentage of financing (22.3%), with a value of $5.9bn, and Goal 6: Clean Water, which accounts for 20.3% of the development financing, with a value of $5.3 bn.
The portfolio also targets Goal 7: Clean and Affordable Energy, which covers 17.5% of development financing, with a value of $4.6bn.
To promote knowledge sharing between emerging economies, particularly African countries, Al-Mashat affirmed that the ministry is keen on documenting the Egyptian experience in international cooperation and development financing, which led to the publishing of the book ‘Stakeholder Engagement through Economic Diplomacy’ by the London School of Economics in 2021.
Furthermore, the minister stressed that her ministry’s portfolio and the agreements that have been implemented with development partners in coordination with all concerned government agencies meet national development priorities, as the ministry’s ongoing portfolio includes 149 projects to develop investment in human capital worth a total of $5.5bn. The portfolio also includes 111 projects in various infrastructure sectors (transportation, housing, energy, irrigation, and local development) worth $18.5bn.