CAIRO,7 October 2019: To celebrate 40 years of Swiss-Egyptian development cooperation, Ambassador Raymund Furrer, Head of Economic Cooperation and Development at the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO), will visit Cairo from 7-11 October to meet with Egyptian officials, visit the sites of Swiss development projects in Egypt, and discuss continued cooperation in the future.
Ambassador Furrer will inform key government stakeholders about the strategic priorities of SECO as well as the opportunities and challenges of the SECO portfolio in Egypt.
Alongside his meetings with top officials, he will also visit El Sewedy Technical Academy, where a project co-financed by Switzerland and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development is being implemented to enhance employability and job market access of young women and men in Egypt. Ambassador Furrer will moreover attend a high-level panel discussion on trends, perspectives and solutions related to urban inequalities in Egypt, to be held at the premises of the Swiss Embassy.
“We can achieve positive and tangible results together with the Government of Egypt and our project partners that make a difference to the lives of many ordinary Egyptians,” said Ambassador Furrer.
Forty years ago, in 1979, Switzerland and Egypt concluded a partnership to stimulate economic cooperation and investments, and bring support to the most vulnerable people among the Egyptian population. Projects at the time focused on infrastructure. Today, Switzerland’s development projects in Egypt have expanded greatly to include diverse activities in the fields of democratic processes and human rights, inclusive sustainable economic growth and employment, and migration and protection. Switzerland supports Egypt’s comprehensive reform agenda as set out in its 2030 Egypt Vision.
Ambassador Furrer will also address the guests of the Swiss National Day reception at the residence of Swiss Ambassador to Egypt Paul Garnier on October 9 around the landmark 40-year celebration of Swiss-Egyptian development cooperation. Throughout this 40-year timeframe some 700 million Swiss francs have been invested in more than 200 projects across Egypt to boost infrastructure, develop the private sector, and empower civil society, among other initiatives. Some of the highlights of Switzerland’s development programme successes in Egypt include provision of reliable radiology services that have benefitted 1.8 million patients and provision of support to three microfinance institutions with 450,000 clients and an outstanding portfolio of 110 million Swiss francs.
Ambassador Furrer has been Head of SECO’s Economic Cooperation and Development division since 1 October 2015. He is also Delegate of the Swiss Federal Council for Trade Agreements. SECO’s focus areas for Egypt for the 2017-2020 period include infrastructure financing, private sector investments, trade promotion and macro-economic support. The last bilateral official visit of Ambassador Furrer to Cairo was in May 2018.
Egypt urges World Bank, IMF to support regional integrity in Africa
CAIRO – 18 October 2019: Minister of Investment and International Cooperation Sahar Nasr called on the World Bank and IMF to boost their support to Egypt in achieving regional integrity and intra-trade in Africa, a press release on Friday read.
Addressing the Intergovernmental Group of 24 on International Monetary Affairs and Development in Washington, Nasr called on the WB and International Monetary Fund to expand investments in the region.
The minister said that Egypt’s vision to face the slowdown in global economic growth and trade tensions is to achieve more economic integration and continue to take the path of reform to make our economies more competitive and attractive for investment, to achieve the aspirations of the world countries in growth and development.
Nasr explained that the Egyptian government has implemented a comprehensive economic and social reform program to promote sustainable growth, alleviate poverty, create good jobs, enable the private sector to promote growth, and provide opportunities for all sectors of society to participate in the economy, especially women and young entrepreneurs.
The Minister added that President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, as the chairman of the African Union, has set the achievement of regional economic integration as a top priority.
Nasr also discussed Wednesday with the World Bank the provision of $500 million for the pollution control and solid waste management project in Egypt.
Nasr added in a statement that Egypt is also discussing with the World Bank raising the level of partnership to support the health and education sectors in Egypt.
For his part, World Bank Vice President for the Middle East and North Africa Farid Belhadj affirmed that Egypt is a very important country for the bank’s fields of work.
“Therefore the World Bank is keen to contribute effectively to the efforts exerted to achieve development in Egypt, especially in the field of infrastructure, in light of the economic and legislative reform that contributed to improving the investment climate in Egypt,”Belhadj explained.
African Development Bank and partners launch pilot Cities Diagnostics tool in five cities
The tool includes key environmental and urban sustainability indicators as well as disaster risk and vulnerability, and urban footprint growth.
ABIDJAN, Ivory Coast, October 7, 2019 – “The urban opportunities far outweigh the challenges,” said Prof. Davis G. Mwamfupe, the Mayor of Dodoma, Tanzania, during his message to the Cities Leadership workshop, launching the City Diagnostics for five pilot cities in Africa, held on the 25th and 26th September 2019 in Abidjan.
Five cities were chosen for the pilot phase of the Cities Diagnostics for 2019 -2020: Antananarivo (Madagascar), Bizerte (Tunisia), Conakry (Republic of Guinea), Dodoma (Tanzania) and Libreville (Gabon) and were represented by their respective authorities.
The African Development Bank, the Urban and Municipal Development Fund (UMDF) and the Korea Africa-Economic Cooperation (KOAFEC) organized the workshop to review the cities diagnostic methodologies with city managers and international urban development experts. Amadou Oumarou, Director of the Bank’s Infrastructure and Urban Development Department said, “The new City Diagnostics tool of the Bank will enable city managers and development partners to have a clear understanding of the situation in all the various sub-sectors of the city and allow us to prioritise our work”.
The diagnostic tool includes key environmental and urban sustainability indicators; two baseline studies covering disaster risk and vulnerability, and urban footprint growth. It also includes a public opinion survey covering accessibility and quality of municipal services for water, sanitation, electricity. Drainage, solid waste management, and other measures of quality of life in cities are also included. The tool can measure and assess inclusiveness and resilience parameters, strategies, municipal resource mobilization, investments, and public accounts administration.
The Mayor of Bizerte, Dr. Ben Amara Kamel stressed the challenge of limited municipal budget resources for capital infrastructure and services investments as well the difficulty of recruiting qualified municipal staff to cities, especially given Bizerte’s ambitious projects such as 100% clean energy by 2030. Participants from Conakry and Libreville also mentioned problems of city governance, the low level of municipal tax collection, poor sanitation, and solid waste management.
The five pilot cities exchanged experiences at a panel headed by Ellis Juan, Senior Advisor to the Bank’s UMDF and former head of the Inter-American Development Bank emerging and sustainable cities program (ESC) . Juan highlighted some of the key lessons learned in Latin America which included the following:
- An integrated approach to city planning and management yields greater impact;
- Climate change should be integrated into city planning and management;
- Making cities for the people, or people-oriented cities;
- Order in the fiscal accounts, increased digitalization of city management and strong governance and transparency make for a credible partner;
- Efficient management of solid waste, sewerage and drainage systems, and water resources will preserve cities’ environmental assets for future generations while improving quality of life;
- Integrating mobility into urban planning and investing in quality public transportation services will drive productivity and create citizen-friendly cities;
The City Diagnostics program is fully funded by the UMDF, which supports African cities and municipalities to improve their resilience and manage urban growth and development better through planning, governance, and efficient public services as well as improving the quality of life in urban environments in Africa.
Equatorial Guinea launches aggressive 2020 Investment Agenda with the African Energy Chamber
The Year of Investment 2020 is an initiative of the Ministry of Mines and Hydrocarbons (MMH) to pursue Equatorial Guinea’s agenda of energy cooperation and investment
MALABO, Equatorial Guinea, October 2, 2019 – In light of the success of the Year of Energy 2019, an initiative of the Republic of Equatorial Guinea which is seeing the organization of several high-level investment conferences and roadshows in Malabo and internationally this year, the country will be continuing its outreach to global investors with the Year of Investment 2020.
Supported by the African Energy Chamber, the Year of Investment 2020 is an initiative of the Ministry of Mines and Hydrocarbons (MMH) to pursue Equatorial Guinea’s agenda of energy cooperation and investment, and see the signing of several landmark energy deals for Equatorial Guinea in 2020.
Both parties have agreed to work together on the rolling out of this new initiative throughout the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding on the sidelines of the Oil & Gas Meeting Day in Malabo this week.
“Equatorial Guinea not only offers numerous investment opportunities in oil, natural gas and minerals, but its leadership understands the need to be pro-active in promoting investment and reaching out to global energy stakeholders,” declared Jude Kearney, former Deputy Assistant Secretary for Service Industries and Finance at the U.S. Department of Commerce during the Clinton Administration and currently President of Kearney Africa Advisors.
“The signing of this agreement with the Ministry of Mines and Hydrocarbons demonstrates the long history of cooperation between the Chamber and the MMH and our belief that Equatorial Guinea remains one of Africa’s most competitive energy frontiers.”
“We are going to work with our traditional partners in Africa, Europe, United States and Asia to do deals that meet our country’s pro growth agenda. Our market driven policies and enabling environment works better with investment into our country” said H.E. Gabriel Mbaga Obiang Lima, Minister of Mines and Hydrocarbons. “Our goal with the Year of Investment 2020 is to work in attracting investment that will diversify our economy, boost entrepreneurship, generate profit for investors and create jobs for our citizens”
Through their cooperation, the MMH and the Chamber will be programming and organizing several deal making events and roadshows throughout 2020 to showcase the best investment opportunities that Equatorial Guinea has to offer.
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