CAIRO - 16 March 2022: The Minister of International Cooperation, Rania A. Al-Mashat met with the Minister of Economy, Planning, & Regional Development for Cameroon Alamine Ousmane Mey, as part of his visit to Egypt to participate in the “The 3rd Meeting of Governance Council of Arab Africa Trade Bridges Program”.
This meeting comes within the framework of strengthening economic relations with African countries, in light of the country’s 2030 development vision, where both ministers addressed ways to enhance bilateral cooperation across different sectors.
Al-Mashat explained that the Ministry of International Cooperation is working to promote joint development between Egypt and the African continent by pushing for regional integration, and by enhancing expertise and knowledge-sharing while spotlighting Egypt’s own development experiences with other African countries. This is in light of the political leadership’s commitment to strengthening relations and supporting areas of development across the continent.
The Minister also discussed the first edition of the Egypt - International Cooperation Forum (Egypt - ICF), held under the patronage of H.E. Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, the President of the Arab Republic of Egypt, which looked into strengthening multilateral cooperation post-pandemic.
The event witnessed the participation of decision-makers at the local, regional and international levels, including ministers and representatives from several countries: Senegal, Rwanda, South Africa, Kenya, Nigeria, Ghana, and Cameroon, as well as representatives from multilateral and bilateral development partners, and from the private sector. The forum also addressed promoting triangular cooperation, and south-south cooperation.
Al-Mashat also reviewed several agreements that were concluded in terms of promoting development in Africa. This includes the navigation line project between Lake Victoria and the Mediterranean Sea, the railway line project between Egypt and Sudan, and Cairo-Cape Town road project, which facilitates transportation and trade. This particular project is operating, reflecting opportunities for international and regional financing institutions to contribute, as well as stimulating the participation of the private sector in developing the road to advance integrated development in the continent.
The Minister discussed the joint committee with countries in Africa, which is an important area of focus for the Ministry of International Cooperation’s work in strengthening economic cooperation between Egypt and the rest of the continent.
Moreover, Al-Mashat expressed that as Egypt is hosting CO27 this year in Sharm El-Sheikh, this enhances the country’s position internationally and regionally in leading the green transformation efforts. This is especially after launching the National Climate Change Strategy 2050, which opens the door for more opportunities in cooperation, and in coordinating with development partners and International Financial Institutions (IFIs).
The Minister added that the Government of Egypt is progressing in combating climate change, by shifting towards a green and sustainable economy, and by preserving environmental and natural resources. Al-Mashat pointed to coordination with the Ministry of Environment, alongside relevant national entities, in strengthening cooperation with development partners regarding efforts to address climate change, and to prepare national reports on progress being made.
Al-Mashat said that there are various opportunities for cooperation, especially within the African continent, and via partnerships with international banks, multilateral institutions, government entities, and the private sector in Egypt to promote climate finance, and to advance the country’s efforts in achieving sustainable development through adaptation and mitigation projects, coupled with utilizing innovative and blended finance mechanisms to promote a green economy.
The Minister also emphasized the role of international cooperation in light of the challenges being faced by the world, especially with the Russian-Ukrainian crisis, and previously with the COVID-19 pandemic, noting that the impact of these situations on development and emerging markets decreases the amount of available financing worldwide.
Al-Mashat indicated that at the beginning of the pandemic, the international community utilized financial and monetary tools to overcome its repercussions, and now it is necessary to unify efforts and to work together in light of the current challenges, especially with regard to increased energy prices and raw materials, such as food. The challenges the world is facing impacts all development efforts, including investments made by the private sector, so contributions by the international financial institutions should be doubled to enhance private sector investments.
For his part, the Minister of Economy, Planning, & Regional Development for Cameroon Alamine Ousmane Mey, stressed the importance of enhancing the prospects for trade exchange between both countries, and in achieving integration between the Arab and African regions, which has become urgent in light of the health crisis and geopolitical challenges faced by the world.
Alamine Ousmane Mey also expressed his interest in starting an Egyptian-Cameroonian business forum to discuss prospects for economic and technological cooperation, and to increase the exchange of information and expertise, and to ensure capacity building, while also paving the way for joint manufacturing.
With enhanced cooperation and inter-trade between both countries, particularly in new and renewable energy, health, food security, and agriculture, he also referred to unlocking great potential for Egypt and Cameroon.
Al-Mashat thanked Alamine Ousmane Mey for his role in the first edition of Egypt - ICF, held last September in Cairo, and also invited him to participate in this year’s second edition.
Al-Mashat gave Mey a copy of the Ministry’s 2021 Annual Report “Engaging For Impact Towards Our Common Future” which includes sections on strengthening cooperation with Africa, as well as a chapter on environmental sustainability and the Government of Egypt’s plans for climate action. The Minister also provided Mey a copy of one of the main publications released for the Egypt - ICF on Egypt’s national plans for the transition to a green economy.