Boosting the green and inclusive economy in Egypt, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) last year invested more than €1bn in 20 projects in Egypt, 44% of which were in the country’s green economy, while 70% had a gender and inclusion focus.
The bank directed 75% of its investments in Egypt to the private sector.
The bank explained that one key green investment was a $36m package to develop the Kom Ombo Solar Plant, which will add 200MW of energy capacity, increase the share of renewable energy in Egypt’s energy mix, and further promote private sector participation in the Egyptian power sector.
To support micro-, small-, and medium-sized enterprises run by young entrepreneurs, the bank also launched the $120m ‘Youths in Business Programme’, beginning with a pilot $20m ‘Skills in Business’ credit facility in partnership with the National Bank of Egypt.
The EBRD is also forging an inclusive economy by creating access to market skills and employment opportunities by training young people in Egypt.
A new culinary workshop launched at the German Hotel School in El-Gouna that is being established in partnership with the Sawiris Foundation for Social Development will focus on developing culinary skills, for instance.
Collaboration with Hyundai Rotem, meanwhile, will offer certified training to 80 unemployed young people in subjects related to the maintenance of rolling stock for Cairo’s Metro Line II.
Continuing its support for the southern and eastern Mediterranean region (SEMED) in 2021, the bank made €1.5bn of new investments in 37 projects, 72% of which were in the private sector and 42% were in the green economy. Two-thirds of the projects had a gender inclusion component.
The region also continued to benefit from strong donor support, including from the EU, the EBRD SEMED Multi-Donor Account, the Green Climate Fund, the Global Concessional Financing Facility, and other bilateral and multilateral donors.
Across all of its regions, the EBRD green financing hit a record €5.4bn in 2021, or 51% of the bank’s total annual investment volume of €10.4bn. This was a significant increase from the 29% green share of total financing reported in 2020, which came under the EBRD’s Green Economy Transition approach.
The strong showing follows the bank’s twin commitments to align all of its investments by the end of this year with the goals of the Paris Agreement on limiting climate change and to make the majority of its annual investments green by 2025.
The 2021 green financing result was a key element in the EBRD’s second-highest annual business volume ever. A record of €11bn was set in 2020, when the bank’s investments were buoyed by emergency lending at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.