Thu, 09 Sep 2021 - 09:54 GMT
CAIRO – 9 September 2021: Egypt concluded on Thursday its International Cooperation Forum's (ICF) 1st edition with a session that focused on Egyptian efforts to invest in human capital.
The final session also addressed Egypt's role in development through "Decent Life" initiative and other projects.
The Decent Life initiative has been launched by President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi in July to develop the countryside in few years,
International Cooperation Minister Rania Al-Mashat, Minister of Social Solidarity Nevine El-Qabbaj and Minister of Education Tarek Shawki participated in the session.
Mashat said Egypt’s "Decent Life" initiative to develop countryside is connected to all sectors and is divided into a part concerned with infrastructure and another concerned with investment in humans.
Qabbaj, during the session, said investment in human capital leads to decreasing the poverty rates and is connected to decent life, integration and health care.
Digital transformation saves much resources that have been previously wasted, Qabbaj said, adding that this caused poverty rates to decrease to 29% from 32.5%.
Investment amid rapid population growth is challenging and therefore, we cooperate with all ministries to ensure a decent life for citizens, Qabbaj added.
In his remarks, Minister of Education Shawki said the state through developing the education process aims at building the next generations since the pre-kindergarten stage, noting that the state will reap the fruits of this experience after several years.
“We also help the current generation assess their skills and modify their approach,” he added.
In an earlier session about food security in Africa, Mashat said Egypt has many successful programs in agriculture and local development.
She added that Egypt did not witness any disruption or obstacles in supply chains during coronavirus pandemic.
In Egypt, there is a great development in the transformation of the living conditions of citizens, Regional Director for the Near East, North Africa, Central Asia and Europe at the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), Dina Saleh said.
Egypt's model should be followed in Africa, Saleh added.
The African Economic Development Forum is working to strengthen rural areas and enable them to access services, she noted.
The ICF was launched by the Ministry of International Cooperation on Wednesday under the auspices of President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi.
It resumed its work for the second day in a row, with the participation of a group of the most prominent international institutions and major international and regional financial institutions, multilateral and bilateral development partners, representatives of the private sector and civil society, and government representatives of African, European and Latin American countries.
The forum’s work on Thursday has included a series of workshops, organized by the Ministry of International Cooperation, with international institutions, starting with a workshop on “activating regional cooperation mechanisms under the African Free Trade Agreement” and the second workshop discussing “Sharing Egypt’s experience in matching development finances with the UN development goals sustainable”.
The third workshop revolves around “Women’s Financial Inclusion: Supporting Women Entrepreneurs in Egypt… Launching the Women in Business Report from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development” while the fourth workshop discusses “Food Security and Employment in Africa in the Age of Digitization… World Food Program."
As for the fifth workshop, it revolves around “Innovation and Entrepreneurship: Youth the locomotive of development in Africa and the Middle East.” The participants in the sixth workshop will discuss “Tripartite Cooperation with the Continent of Africa.”
The forum concluded its work on Thursday, with a session on "Investing in Human Capital" with high-level local and regional participation, before the forum issues its final statement and recommendations on advancing global efforts to achieve sustainable development.
On Wednesday, the activities of the Egypt ICF were launched, under the auspices of President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, with the participation of several ministries.
The forum is attended by high-level government representatives from Africa, Europe and Latin America, heads of international and regional financial institutions and representatives of the private sector and civil society.
Sisi: Green recovery urgent need
President Sisi said green recovery has become a pressing necessity and a top priority for world governments currently, as he gave a speech during the ICF.
“In present time, humanity is passing through the most difficult test in long period of time as it faces numerous challenges represented in the repercussions of the coronavirus pandemic and the negative impact of climate changes,” Sisi said.
“This imposes a new reality upon us that requires more creative ideas and formulations in the decision-making process and more awareness with regard to potential dangers and a balanced approach based on joint action to achieve sustainable and green economic development and progress to fulfill the aspirations of the peoples of the world,” the president noted.
Sisi affirmed the need to take into consideration the “variation in economic and social conditions of emerging and developing countries, which have been hardest hit by the coronavirus pandemic. This might hamper their ability to keep up with the green recovery process”.
Sisi also stressed the necessity that international community and global financial institutions support developing countries in achieving the desired goals of this ambitious agenda.
“There is no doubt that governments alone cannot make this recovery possible. Therefore, the pivotal role of the private sector arises in order to move forward toward a sustainable future through innovative mechanisms to mobilize resources and blended finance.”
“This aims to enhance the private sector’s participation in the various development fields in tandem with the sound employment of technology and digital transformation to achieve the coveted economic and social development of the entire world.”
Sustainable development plan
“Egypt was at the forefront of countries which developed a long-term strategic plan to achieve Sustainable Development 2030 based on national priorities and principles with the aim of achieving sustainable and comprehensive development,” Sisi said.
“In this regard, the environment dimension was deemed a fundamental pillar in all development sectors to overcome the impact of climate change, preserve natural resources and move toward comprehensive and sustainable development, thus safeguarding the rights of the coming generations.”
“The development goals of ‘Egypt Vision 2030’ come in alignment with the ‘UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and Africa 2063 Development Agenda to bolster the values of joint action and multilateral cooperation to support development efforts in various countries.”
“In this regard, we underscore the importance of achieving African integration by invigorating the executive mechanisms of the African Continental Free Trade Area agreement, which is considered a key axis in our deliberations in this forum.”
Sisi said: “this agreement constitutes a momentum to move toward enhancing integration and amalgamation among the continent’s countries, which have huge opportunities to assume a key role in the future of global economy”.
“Egypt has made a pledge upon itself to move toward achieving development in tandem with countering the accumulative challenges and problems,” he told Egypt-ICF.
“We have succeeded over the past years to push forward development efforts in a multitude of sectors through carrying out mega infrastructure projects, providing social protection programs, boosting investment in human capital, and taking effective measures toward the transition to a green economy,” the president added.
This comes to “promote the life of the Egyptian citizen, improve the standard of his living, and fulfill his aspirations for a promising tomorrow and future.”
He added that these efforts have been lauded in numerous reports by international institutions.
Cooperation with financial institutions
“Based on that, Egypt welcomes the firm cooperation with international financial institutions, the United Nations and its affiliated agencies, to enhance development efforts and provide the necessary expertise to our brothers in the Middle East region and Africa.”
The president affirmed the need “to move together toward achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, supporting Africa’s Agenda 2063 and accomplishing what the world has adopted in the Paris Climate Agreement.”
Sisi welcomed the ICF’s honorable guests, wishing them “a fruitful conference that shall contribute to the efforts of the international community to achieve sustainable development”.