Minister of International Cooperation Rania al-Mashat has said Egypt greatly contributes to efforts aimed at achieving development in Africa either at the bilateral level or through its presidency of African Union (AU) entities, citing that Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi currently chairs the Steering Committee of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development Agency (NEPAD) for the period 2023-2025.
Mashat’s remarks came during a speech that she delivered on Tuesday 30/1/2024 at the Italian-African Summit on behalf of President Sisi.
At the beginning of her speech, the minister conveyed Sisi’s greetings to Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni and African leaders, expressing hope the summit will help push forward economic growth in African states and bring about their development aspirations.
Mashat commended the launch of Mattei Plan, which is considered as a strategic initiative for enhancing relations between Italy and African countries in the fields of education, training, health, water, sanitation, agriculture, energy and infrastructure.
She stated that African countries face increasing challenges due to growing global incidents, noting that nearly 20 percent of the African population suffers from a lack of food security as shown by the World Food Program (WFP) statistics.
Mashat indicated that the African continent annually needs some USD 100 billion to bridge the financing gap associated with infrastructure projects, which requires an intensive coordination between African countries, international partners, and relevant regional and international organizations.
The minister explained that African countries are the most affected by climate change, which stresses the need to enhance collective efforts for strengthening food and water security in Africa.
In this regard, Mashat called on world countries and governments to accelerate the implementation of digital transformation to promote sustainable practices in the areas of agriculture and industry.
She also spoke about Egypt’s Country Platform for the Nexus of Water, Food and Energy (NWFE), which aims to mobilize climate finance and private investments from multiple international financing institutions to accelerate the national climate agenda and support the country’s green transition.