Minister of Finance Mohamed Maait stressed that the Egypt Forum for International Cooperation and Development Finance and the meeting of African Ministers of Finance, Economy, and Environment are a preparatory step for the upcoming UN Conference of Parties on Climate Change (COP27).
He added that they discussed many pivotal topics that effectively contribute to formulating the vision of a coordinated and unified African business map during the coming period, which will be first adopted in the meetings of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank (WB) in Washington this October, and then in the activities of the Finance Day organised by the Ministry of Finance on 9 November in Sharm El-Sheikh on the side-lines of the COP27.
In his speech at the end of the forum, Maait said that the African ministers ended up formulating clear demands for Africa from the international community regarding the course of financing climate action, especially with the continent bearing the worst consequences due to environmental degradation despite being responsible for less than 3% of global carbon emissions.
He explained that Egypt aims to ensure that Africa continues to play its role in containing carbon emissions, which needs significant financing resources, as African countries spend between 3 to 9% of their GDP on adaptation to climate change as well as measures to recover from the coronavirus pandemic and the economic challenges resulting from the repercussions of the war in Europe.
The minister added that the global economic crisis has led to an increase in the challenges Africa is facing, and therefore Africa’s representatives will go to Washington and then to Sharm El-Sheikh with a clear and unified message, explaining that he will be personally keen to ensure that Africa’s message and voice are conveyed on Finance Day in order to develop a sustainable and clear framework for implementation in order to mitigate the impact of global economic challenges and preserve the climate for future generations of the world.
Maait held a number of bilateral meetings with representatives of a number of countries and international financial and banking institutions on the side-lines of their participation in the forum to discuss prospects for joint cooperation in climate-related issues, discuss green investment opportunities in the African continent, and ways to reduce the cost of financing for environmentally friendly projects through easy mechanisms by reviewing the visions and ideas that will be discussed during Finance Day.
In his meeting with Finnish Deputy Finance Minister Pekka Morn, Maait discussed arrangements for hosting the meeting of the Alliance of Finance Ministers for Climate Action within the activities of Finance Day and African visions on climate change, which will be discussed at the annual meetings of the IMF and the WB. The two sides also discussed mechanisms and tools addressing challenges related to the high cost of financing in developing and African countries.
In his meeting with Jay Collins — Vice President of Citibank Group for Banking Services — Maait also referred to the great cooperation with the bank and reviewed the ministry’s vision regarding combating climate change in Africa, which will be highlighted during Finance Day in more detail, including the challenges and opportunities related to green investment and sustainable finance. Moreover, he praised the cooperation with Citibank to exchange ideas on financial applications related to green investments to take advantage of various opportunities in the field of sustainable finance, as well as sharing its experiences and best practices on climate finance issues with the Egyptian Ministry of Finance and other relevant ministries in the context of preparing for the COP27.
In his meeting with representatives of the United Nations Development Programme, Maait stressed the importance of international development partners’ support for the African demands put forward during Finance Day in a manner that achieves the UN’s sustainable development goals (SDGs).
The two sides also discussed frameworks for deepening the private sector’s participation in climate issues, maximising joint action efforts to transform the green economy, and strengthening ongoing capacity building programmes with the Ministry of Finance.
The two sides clarified the need for coordination to support the Novi programme framework; as a national platform for projects linking energy, food, and water, it has been well prepared to provide appropriate opportunities to mobilise financing and attract public and private investments that support the green transformation and link it to the requirements of sustainable development.
It also provides consensus on the use of innovative financing tools, such as blended financing based on flexible partnerships between the public and private sectors and multilateral partnerships. This allows for more cooperation and communication frameworks and supports the creation of an encouraging environment for the participation of the private sector.
“We are seeing great interest from development partners to support the Novi programme by preparing to mobilise financing and attract green investments,” Maait said.
Maait hosted a coordinating meeting of participating African finance ministers to coordinate African positions before the conclusion of the forum’s activities, as well as exchange views on a number of economic and financial issues of concern to the continent, stressing the importance of developed countries fulfilling their promises regarding providing financing to developing countries with regard to financing climate change.