The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is committed to help North African countries to integrate with the Sub Saharan countries, the EBRD’S Managing Director for Southern and Eastern Mediterranean (SEMED), Janet Heckman, said.
“I would like to congratulate Egypt who is proving to be a very good president of the African Union. I think that the regions is one of the least integrated in the world, that is why we would like implement programmes in order to accomplish the integration with African countries,” she mentioned over her speech on Sunday at the Egypt Investment Forum.
“The EBRD is proud that Egypt is the number one country in banks’ operations in 2018, with the provision of €1.15bn through 19 projects, covering all sectors of the economy,” she affirmed, adding, “We began investing here six years ago, after the Arab uprising and now we have invested over €4.8bn in 91 projects.”
The EBRD believes that the private sector can accomplish anything, she asserted, adding that collaboration between the financial institutions and the private sector will make a real difference in Africa. “Our €2bn project in Benban is a successful model for cooperating with the private sector and the financial institutions,” she noted.
For his part, Ibrahim Lafia, the head of cooperation at the European Commission, said that improving the investment climate is a very important issue, adding, “we have launched an external investment plan to help boost the private sector investments, and help in job creation.”
The European Commission is providing a blending mechanism of funds in collaboration with many financial institutions including the German state-owned bank (KFW) and the French Agency for Development (AFD) for the key infrastructure projects.
The Chief Representative at the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) Egypt office, Yoshifum Omura, highlighted his country’s close cooperation with the African continent.
“Japan will hold the Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD) in August 2019. We are scaling up what we have done in Africa,” he added.
He pointed out that Japan is involved in health sector development programmes in Africa, and in industrial sector development, in addition to the Universal Health Coverage Cooperation in Egypt.
Burkhard Hinz, the director of the Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau’s (KfW) office in Egypt, said that his organsation focuses on the value added of its projects, and not only the amount of finance that is allocated for the projects.
He affirmed that the KfW is implementing infrastructural projects in Africa, as well as in Egypt including energy efficiency, promoting renewable energy, in addition to educational programmes.