UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP representative Mostafa Benlamlih and Minister of International Cooperation Saher Nasr sat with a panel of journalists for a roundtable discussion on Egypt’s accomplishments in the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and Egypt’s strategy for moving forward with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The SDGs aim to end world poverty, malnutrition, and social exclusion.
The meeting gave an overview of the Sustainable Development Strategy: Egypt Vision 2030—the government’s plan to accomplish SDGs over the next 15 years. The strategy aims to unite the government, the United Nations, the private sector, and civil society to converge in a collective effort to ensure economic development, social justice, and environmental continuity.
The Sustainable Development Strategy sets a number of quantitative targets and proposes nationwide projects as well as legislative reform. Among the 17 dimensions of the UN’s SDGs are traditional economic targets, such as ending extreme poverty, malnutrition, and providing quality education as well as new dimensions of development such as ending gender inequality, providing affordable and clean energy, individual liberty, and freedom from fear.
Some of the targets the government is looking to achieve are a GDP growth rate of 10% by 2020, 12% by 2030, $10,000 GDP per capita, 1% share of global GDP up from the current 0.21%, a 15% poverty rate, 0% extreme poverty, a 75% debt to GDP ratio, a 5% unemployment rate, 3-5% inflation, 35% female participation in the workforce (up from 28%), ranking of 30 on the Global Competitiveness index from the current 116, a 10% industrial growth rate, and 70% private sector contribution to the GDP (up from 60%).
The government is also targeting 5% hydroelectric use, 30% solar and wind power, 29% coal, and 9% nuclear energy, leaving a 27% dependence on oil and gas, down from the current 91%.
Mostafa Benlamlih commended Egypt on the progress made in the MDGs such as expanding basic education to 90% of children and access to primary education for girls. He said the Egyptian government is now more responsible in carrying out these goals than it had been in the past.
The government’s plan focuses on ensuring economic stability through the reduction of the state debt and budget deficit, inclusion and social support such as inequality between rural and urban areas, youth rights and employment, as well as increasing human development, competitiveness, value added production, incorporation of the informal sector, and ensuring energy security.