Egypt was able to cushion the consequences of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic through agile policy making, according to Minister of International Cooperation, Rania Al-Mashat.
This led the country to develop a home-grown economic reform programme. In collaboration with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the reform structures were put in motion between 2016 and 2019.
In 2020, a support deal was renewed between the Egyptian Government and the IMF to support the government’s response plan in facing the pandemic and was in line with the country’s 2030 national agenda.
“We are keen on making it through by ‘leaving no one behind’,” Minister Al-Mashat said.
She revealed that as the first quarter (Q1) of 2021 comes to an end, Egypt is focused on moving towards clean energy for a green recovery. This includes a well-rounded digital transformation across all sectors, and a targeted focus on industry and investments
Her remarks came during a speech at the “Economic Recovery Post-Pandemic” roundtable, a virtual discussion hosted by Indiana University’s Institute for International Business and Kelley School of Business.
During the event, Minister Al-Mashat spoke about Egypt’s resilient recovery, particularly in light of the pandemic. The virtual event is part of a roundtable discussion series that addresses economic recovery, global challenges, disruptions, and trends.
Al-Mashat said that as countries recover from the pandemic, a focus on green energy must be maintained. Going hand-in-hand with digitalisation, Egypt is set on building new cities, such as the New Administrative Capital (NAC) that is set to become the country’s first smart city.
The NAC will include a city-wide digital security system as well as sustainable infrastructure to reduce consumption and cost with a focus on renewable energy.
Minister Al-Mashat said that it was through Economic Diplomacy that the Ministry of International Cooperation was able to keep Egypt’s economic growth on track.
Commitment to charting progress towards the SDGs helped the ministry secure $9.8bn in development financing as of January 2020, from multilateral and bilateral development partners.
This came despite the 8% decrease in global development financing caused by the economic instability due to the pandemic.
One of the pandemic’s silver linings is the speeding up of the digital transformation, with Minister Al-Mashat saying that the digital economy will require a new range of skill-sets.
These skills will be needed by rising entrepreneurs to develop, in order to utilise the technologically-led business ecosystem.
“We are seeing the rise of young, fresh and talented innovators and entrepreneurs in the market, particularly in the digital and FinTech sectors, positioning Egypt in a unique stance as it grows to become a regional startup hub,” Minister Al-Mashat said.