Mohamed Maait, Minister of Finance and Governor of Egypt to the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), has stressed that Egypt will be the voice of Africa at the eighth annual meetings of the AIIB that will be convened for the first time in Africa on 25 and 26 September in Sharm El-Sheikh.
Today’s economic challenges will be adopted as well as African peoples’ development needs with huge financing they require to attract more investments specifically in infrastructure will also be conveyed. This adoption will be in a way that supports the continental development path, opens up great prospects for the AIIB, and contributes in stimulating multilateral and cross-border development activities within Africa, Maait said.
He added: “This is also driven by achieving continental objectives by having the capacity to strengthen the structure of emerging economies as a result of successive global crises, unprecedented pressures on developing countries’ budgets to provide basic needs of citizens, namely food and fuel under their soaring prices, while simultaneously the increase of financing cost accompanied with high interest rates, and continuous uncertainty in international markets.”
As a founding member of the AIIB, Egypt aspires to effectively contribute to fostering Africa-Asia partnership to achieve the sustainable development goals, thereby improving the level of services provided to citizens of African countries and facilitating their decent livelihoods. Thus, the eighth annual meeting of the AIIB in Sharm El-Sheikh, will be a powerful take off for the Bank’s promising projects not only in Egypt but also in various African countries, through launching a new phase of transcontinental cooperation based on providing more infrastructure investments, as pointed out by the Minister.
The AIIB’s trend to allocate 50% of its investments to climate action by 2025 can be exploited to push green transformation efforts towards establishing smart and eco- friendly projects on a larger scale in Egypt and Africa. The Bank provides concessional and low-cost financing for renewable energy projects, low-carbon transport projects, water and sanitation sector, pollution control and enhanced ecosystem services in a way that contributes to increase Africa’s fiscal space for green projects, and achieve continental economic and developmental targets in accordance with the agenda of “Africa 2063”, specifically in terms of environmental, economic and social consequences of climate change, the minister also added.
Ahmed Kouchouk, Deputy Minister of Finance for Fiscal Policies and Director at the AIIB, highlighted the need to intensify efforts of international development partners to contribute to build a more resilient global financial system capable of avoiding future health, economic and environmental shocks. He also referred to the necessity of more cooperation and collaboration to redouble the capacity of closing financing gaps resulting from successive global crises in emerging economies. In addition, drafting a more stimulating strategy for development cooperation between Egypt and AIIB including the most important areas of joint action in consistent with the State’s vision and efforts to support private sector, in order to increase its contributions, as a locomotive of growth, to the development process and economic activity, is a must, Kouchouk stressed.