Leila Mokaddem, resident representative of the Egypt field office at the African Development Bank (AfDB) said that the vice president of the bank, Khaled Sherif, will visit Egypt for the first time to hold talks with senior Egyptian officials on the programmes of joint cooperation and framework for the next phase.
The vice president will stay from 2 to 8 October with the participation of Mohammed Al Azizi, director general for the Middle East and North Africa integration.
The visit comes under the government’s strong reform programme and ongoing efforts to restore economic stability.
Mokaddem added that the visit will be the first by the AfDB’s vice president to Egypt, where he is scheduled to hold high-level talks with a number of Egyptian ministers and development partners on the strategy of cooperation between the AfDB and Egypt. As well as discussing the current programmes, which is a three-year programme linked to the economic reform programme implemented by the Egyptian government.
It also discusses the identification of priority areas for development in the coming years to develop a general framework for how the bank supports the Egypt’s reform agenda to develop the economy.
“AfDB is a strategic partner for the Egyptian government. Egypt is a major shareholder in the bank. The joint venture portfolio consists of 29 projects with a total financing of $ 2.34bn,” Mokaddem noted. “The portfolio of cooperation with Egypt is distributed in several sectors: 48% for the energy sector, 45% for budget support, 2.6% for water and irrigation, 2.5% for agriculture and irrigation, 1% for social security.”
She pointed out that cooperation with Egypt consists of loans to the government with a total of seven operations, 12% financing for private sector projects (four loans in addition to one share in the regional health fund), 1% technical assistance grants, and 87% of the portfolio.
The AfDB has provided 11 grants to Egypt since 2015 worth $18.3m in a number of sectors, including support for the capabilities of workers in social security networks as well as financing the study of systems and laws of global healthcare.
To date, the bank has funded 20 projects in the social protection sector in Egypt, including programmes to support education, health, poverty reduction, and microfinance. The bank’s efforts and investments in achieving financial inclusion and microfinance have created more than 183,000 jobs and helped to increase access to funding to more than 135,000 people.
In addition, there is a key project aimed at reducing poverty especially rural smallholder farmers in Upper Egypt was the $70m rural income and economic enhancement project (RIEEP) implemented by the former social fund for development.