Egyptian President praises African Development Bank’s role in supporting Africa through global economic challenges
The President of the Arab Republic of Egypt Abdel Fattah El-Sisi has commended the work of the African Development Bank Group in helping the continent to deal with the impact of global economic challenges.
The Egyptian leader on Tuesday received the President of the African Development Bank Group Dr Akinwumi Adesina in the capital Cairo. Dr Adesina was accompanied by the bank’s Chief Economist and Vice President Professor Kevin Urama and the Secretary General Professor Vincent Nmehielle. Others at the meeting included the Governor of the Central Bank of Egypt Hassan Abdallah, Deputy Governor for Monetary Stability Rami Aboul Naja and Deputy Governor for External Affairs Mannullah Farid.
Adesina was in Egypt to familiarise himself with preparations ahead of the Bank Group’s 2023 Annual Meetings scheduled for 22-26 May in the resort city of Sharm El-Sheikh. Up to 13 heads of state and government are expected to join the bank’s Governors, executive directors, development partners and management at the meetings to discuss Mobilizing Private Sector Financing for Climate and Green Growth in Africa.
President El-Sisi said Egypt looked forward to continuing and increasing cooperation with the bank in various development sectors.
The bank is closely working with Egypt to mobilise international climate financing to address the country’s climate challenges, building resilience of vulnerable systems and promoting sustainable development. The Just Green Transition (JGT) initiative has a pipeline of investment-ready projects worth $14.8 billion to tackle the Nexus on Water, Food and Energy.
The African Development Bank was asked to lead mobilisation of financing for the water pillar projects. Dr Adesina said, “The bank has mobilised $2.3 billion exceeding the initial target of $1.4 billion.” In addition, the bank is supporting water desalination projects in the country.
The African Development Bank Group head praised Egypt’s bold efforts to tap into private sector finance for green growth initiatives.
The government of Egypt plans to issue a green bond in the Chinese capital markets by end of June this year. The Green Panda Bond with a face value of $500 million will be issued in Chinese Renminbi.
Dr Adesina said, “This will be the first time for an African country to issue a bond in the Chinese capital markets.”
The bank’s Board of Directors will in the next couple of months discuss Egypt’s request to provide a partial credit guarantee of $345 million to support the issuance of the bond.
The Green Panda Bond will be the latest among several other bonds that Egypt has issued since 2020 when it launched its Green Financing Framework.
Adesina also commended Egypt for its commitment to increasing the role of the private sector in the economy.
Egypt launched early this year the privatisation of 32 state-owned entities worth $40 billion over the next four years to reduce the footprint of the public sector in the economy and give more room to private sector to grow.
In terms of additional financial support to Egypt in 2023, the bank plans to provide the country $133 million to deal with macroeconomic instability caused by the continuing global compounded crisis. Last year, the bank provided $272 million policy-based operation in supporting Egypt’s efforts to tackle the impact of the crisis.
On Wednesday, Adesina met with the Governor of South Sinai Governorate, Major General (Rt) Khaled Fouda who said the city of Sharm El Sheikh is ready to host more than 2,000 delegates who will be attending the bank’s Annual Meetings in May.
Adesina said the bank was impressed by the infrastructure and facilities the Egyptian government had established in Sharm El-Sheikh, which successfully hosted last year’s COP 27.
“The infrastructure you have developed in Sharm El-Sheikh is amazing. It’s world class. The city is constantly changing, putting green growth at the heart of its development. It’s an example of how successful financing of municipalities and other sub-national entities can deliver impactful social economic development,” the bank chief said. “Other African countries can learn from Sharm El-Sheikh.”
Adesina also met with diplomats representing the bank’s shareholders and development partners in Egypt. He said the bank was committed to supporting countries across Africa achieve accelerated development despite the recent economic shocks and geopolitical tensions affecting them.
“It is a very difficult world to be dealing with, and so as African Development Bank, our role is to support the accelerated development of African countries in financing their economic and social development agenda, and also building the resilience of their economies. We help African countries to be able to deal with the series of shocks—whether it is climate, whether it is debt, whether it is recovering from the Covid-19 situation, or whether it is investing in the things they need for structural transformation of their economies,” Adesina reaffirmed.
Present at the event were Egypt’s Minister for International Cooperation Rania Al-Mashat; Deputy Assistant Minister for Regional Economic Organizations Ebtisam Rakha; the Acting Central Bank Governor of Egypt, Mr Hassan Abdallah, who is also the Governor for Egypt of the African Development Bank; Dr Mohamadou Labarang, Cameroon Ambassador and dean of African Ambassadors in Egypt; and the bank’s Executive Director Nomoto Takaaki.