The African Development Bank (AfDB) has launched the mid-term review of its Country Strategy Paper (CSP), which guides its engagement with Egypt for the period 2015-2019, with the arrival of a multi-disciplinary mission, according to a Monday press statement of the bank.
The multi-disciplinary team will be in Cairo on 24 September to meet with key government and private sector stakeholders, executing agencies of bank-funded projects, and development partners. The mission will review the implementation of the bank’s strategy and ascertain the main developments, achievements, challenges since 2015, and aims to identify areas of intervention for financing and partnerships with the government and the private sector for the period covering 2018/2019.
Sectors to be analysed include energy including renewables, water and sanitation, transport, agriculture, education, health, and governance, as well as cross-cutting themes of environment and climate change, gender and regional integration in Africa.
The expected outcome of the mission is an updated programme of the AfDB interventions in Egypt in the next few years, in an effort to support the county’s socioeconomic reform agenda.
In line with its country strategy, the bank focuses its interventions on two priority areas, which are infrastructure development for private sector competitiveness and sustainable and inclusive growth, and the second area of focus is governance for enhanced transparency, efficiency, fairness, and an increased private sector participation, elaborated the statement.
On 12 September the active portfolio of the bank in Egypt consisted of 26 ongoing operations representing a commitment of $2.95bn, said the statement noting that there are nine public sector loans representing 90% of total commitments, and five private sector projects with 9% of the commitments and 15 grants (1%).
The portfolio covers the following sectors multi-sector mainly policy based budget support operation (52.1%), power (37.9%), water and sanitation (7.02%), agriculture and irrigation (1.98%), social (0.8%), and finance (0.2%).
One of the flagship projects is the three year programmatic policy based operation (PBO) – Economic Governance and Energy Budget Support Programme – with an approval of $1.5bn.
The programme is designed to support strong, sustainable, and an inclusive growth in Egypt by providing a financing incentive for reforms that will help drive fiscal consolidation, improved governance, and efficiency in the energy sector, and strengthening of the business operating environment.
The AfBD is one of 13 co-financiers financing MENA’S largest solar power plant in Benban, Upper Egypt with investments of $1.3bn, with the AfDB providing three private sector loans of $55m for three of the plots.
The bank has financed projects that provide 3,250 MW of electricity to 7 million people across the country.
Also, the bank is supporting projects to improve wastewater treatment plants (Gabal Asfar and Abou Rawash) serving 20.5 million people in Greater Cairo area.
The AfDB has also financed efforts to improve financial inclusion: loans worth $400m over the past decade availed to micro, small, medium, and large enterprises, resulted in creating of over 183,000 jobs and empowering over 135,000 beneficiaries.
The bank’s interventions have contributed to regional integration through the following Support to the Egyptian Agency for Partnerships for Development to encourage the Egyptian private sector to invest and trade in Africa through the organisation of the first Egypt-Africa summit in 2016, as well as providing training opportunities for African commercial diplomats and women journalists, according to the statement.
The bank is involved in a study on establishing a Nile navigational link connecting Lake Victoria to the Mediterranean; and promoting transfer of knowledge in numerous fields, such as project management and strategic national planning provided by the Institute of National Planning and Administrative Control Authority on anti-corruption.