The Board of Directors of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has approved its country strategy for Egypt, which focuses on three key priorities identified in cooperation with the Egyptian government and aligned with its ambitious, recently launched reform programme.
In the period from 2022 to 2027, the Bank will focus on three strategic priorities:
- promoting a more inclusive economy for Egyptian businesses, women and youth
- accelerating Egypt’s green economy transition
- enhancing the country’s competitiveness by supporting private-sector growth and strengthening governance.
The EBRD began operating in Egypt 10 years ago and has since invested more than €8.7 billion in 145 projects of which 76 per cent are in the private sector.
Over the past decade, the Bank focused on investment in renewable energy, improving sustainable infrastructure, strengthening the competitiveness of the private sector (including small firms), as well as promoting greater job and training opportunities for women, young people and people in remote areas.
Half of the EBRD’s investments are in sustainable infrastructure, contributing to the green economy and promoting energy efficiency.
The Bank contributed to the diversification of Egypt’s energy mix with a commitment to finance an additional 1.6 GW of installed renewable energy capacity and an expected 8,303 kilotonne reduction in CO2e emissions (equivalent to emissions from the electricity use of about 1.4 million homes or the consumption of more than 17 million barrels of oil).
Strengthening access to finance for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), the Bank extended close to €1 billion to 19 private financial institutions and invested €128 million into SME equity funds to ensure the availability of long-term financing.
The Bank also launched its Women in Business programme and Youth in Business programme to help develop financial skills.
In addition, the EBRD launched the first sector-skills platform in Egypt facilitating access to training and work-based learning opportunities for young people.
Heike Harmgart, EBRD Managing Director for the Southern and Eastern Mediterranean region, said: “Implementing the new strategy, the Bank will continue to couple its investments with robust policy engagement to help facilitate greater private-sector participation and enhanced corporate and economic governance in the public sector.
“Green transformation is a priority for the EBRD and for Egypt, which will host COP27 this year. Boosting the green economy, we aim to increase our support through a variety of instruments.”
Dr Rania A. Al-Mashat, Egypt’s Minister of International cooperation, said: “We welcome this new strategy, the outcome of extensive consultations with stakeholders. The strategy is in line with national priorities, particularly: achieving inclusive and sustainable growth, accelerating the pace towards a green economy, enhancing competitiveness and encouraging private sector’s engagement in development.”
The new country strategy was approved by the Bank’s Board of Directors after a highly engaged and comprehensive consultation period and reflects feedback from shareholders, the Egyptian authorities, the private sector and civil society.