ABIDJAN, Cote d’Ivoire: Egypt has affirmed its strong support for the African Development Bank as a development partner and is committed to strengthening regional integration, the country’s Prime Minister, Mostafa Madbouly said during a meeting in Cairo with a Bank delegation.
Madbouly affirmed Egypt’s readiness to work with the African Development Bank. We are working hard to strengthen our relationships with African nations and the African Development Bank is a very important partner, the Prime Minister said.
During the four-day dialogue mission, the Bank delegation led by Khaled F. Sherif, African Development Bank Group Vice-President, Regional Development, Integration and Business Delivery, discussed the need for the country to develop value chains and processing facilities on the continent in order to reduce the export of raw goods, such as cotton, coffee and cocoa, and to employ more Africans.
The Bank team also met several other cabinet ministers and the Chairman of the Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS), Khirat Barakat.
The mission followed a February meeting between President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi and African Development Bank President Akinwumi A. Adesina on the sidelines of the AU Summit in Addis Ababa. The goal of the mission was to reinforce the Bank’s support for Egypt’s chairmanship of the African Union that President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi took up at the Summit of the African Union earlier this year.
The Bank delegation, which included Egypt Country Manager Malinne Blomberg, Chief Country Economist Sara Bertin, and Principal Country Programme Officer Samuel Kamara, also examined the pipeline of Bank projects in the country, including opportunities to strengthen infrastructure such as energy, sanitation and transport, as well as skills for the workforce of the future.
The meetings underscored Bank support to the implementation of Egypt’s agenda under its Chairmanship of the AU. The Bank is particularly promoting the Continental Free Trade Agreement and regional integration on the continent. The Bank discussed deepening its support to Egypt’s national priorities for continued growth and employment, notably the energy and sanitation sectors, as well as higher education.
Discussions also focused on the establishment of a Guarantee Investment Fund announced by President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi at the Africa 2018 Forum in Sharm el Sheikh in December, to promote Egyptian outward investment in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Egypt is the Bank’s second largest regional shareholder and third client in terms of cumulative historical approvals, making it a strong partner. The Bank began financing operations in Egypt in 1974. Since that time, it has financed over 125 projects worth US $6.5 billion in infrastructure development (transport, power, water supply and sanitation), agriculture, communications, finance, industry and social sectors, as well as economic and institutional reforms and capacity building. Today, the Bank has a portfolio of 30 operations in Egypt, valued at US $2.9 billion.
Over the past three years of significant fiscal consolidation, Egypt has seen a diversified economy, with services accounting for about half its gross domestic product (GDP), industry, 34% of GDP, and agriculture 12%.