An African Development Bank Group delegation, led by Dr. Khaled F. Sherif (photo), Vice-President, Regional Development, Integration and Business Delivery, has arrived in Cairo for a four-day dialogue mission with the Egyptian Government beginning Monday.
The meetings, taking place from March 4-7, 2019 in Cairo, are to reinforce the Bank’s support for Egypt and its President, Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, who took up the chairmanship of the 55-member African Union at the Summit of the African Union earlier this year. The dialogue mission follows a February meeting between President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi and African Development Bank President, Dr. Akinwumi A. Adesina, on the sidelines of the AU Summit in Addis Ababa. Sherif, who was also present at the meeting, was asked to continue the dialogue in Egypt this week.
The main objective of this week’s meetings is to show Bank support for Egypt’s agenda under its Chairmanship of the AU, in particular with respect to the Continental Free Trade Agreement and regional integration. The mission outward also intends to discuss deepening of the Bank’s support to Egypt’s national priorities for continued growth and employment in the energy and sanitation sectors, as well as higher education. On the agenda, and covering both regional and national developments, will be discussions on the establishment of a Guarantee Investment Fund to promote Egyptian investment in Sub-Saharan Africa, as announced by President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi at the Africa 2018 Forum in Sharm el Sheikh in December, and promoting the second African Investment Forum, scheduled for November 2019 in Johannesburg, to ensure Egyptian companies seize this opportunity to mobilize private capital for Egypt and the whole continent.
At the Africa 2018 Business Forum held in the Egyptian city of Sharm-el-Sheikh in December, Adesina saluted Egypt’s strong macroeconomic performance and its improved ranking in the World Bank’s ‘Doing Business’ report.
According to the African Development Bank’s latest Country Results Brief, Egypt has regained its position as first destination for foreign direct investment (FDI) in Africa. Over the past three years of significant fiscal consolidation, it has seen a diversified economy, with services accounting for about half its gross domestic product (GDP), industry, 34% of GDP, and agriculture 12%.
Egypt is the Bank’s second largest regional shareholder and third client in terms of cumulative historical approvals, making it a strong partner. The Bank started financing operations in Egypt in 1974. Since that time, it has financed over 125 projects worth US $6.5 billion in infrastructure development (transport, power, water supply and sanitation), agriculture, communications, finance, industry and social sectors, as well as economic and institutional reforms and capacity building. Today, the Bank has a portfolio of 30 operations in Egypt, valued at US $2.9 billion.