The African Development Bank (AfDB) has invested $1.7bn in Egypt’s energy sector since 2007, said Acting VP, Power, Energy, Climate & Green Growth at the bank, Wale Shonibare, stressing that the Egyptian energy sector is promising and attractive for investment.
It comes during a conference held by the Egyptian Junior Business Association (EJB) on Tuesday.
He added that the bank was able to offer loans to the private sector in a number of low-income African countries at a low interest rate for 25 years, as well as providing technical assistance.
Shonibare continued that Africa needs to install new power networks at an estimated cost of $130m.
On the bank’s initiatives, he said the Sahara Energy Initiative aims to benefit the largest possible number of African countries to produce 10GW over the next 10 years and meet the needs of about 250 million people across the continent.
Meanwhile, Chairperson of the EJB, Sherif El Gabaly, said that the AfDB is of great benefit to companies working in the Egyptian energy sector.
Speaking about the AfDB’s role in supporting the energy sector in Africa and ways of boosting its activities in Egypt, El Gabaly noted that Egypt’s current chairmanship of the African Union offers a strong opportunity to support the sector and enhance investment among member countries.
Deputy Minister of Planning, Follow-up, and Administrative Reform, Ahmed Kamaly, said investments in the field of energy in Egypt increased by 80% to EGP 721bn in fiscal year (FY) 2017/18, compared to EGP 246bn in FY 2011/12.
He added that Egypt achieved its highest growth rates in 10 years, registering 5.6% in FY 2018/19, compared to 2.9% in 2013/14.
According to Kamaly, high growth rates and lower inflation of 7.4% were recorded last August, compared to 17.5% in the previous year, which prompted the Central Bank of Egypt to move toward cutting the interest rate.
He referred to the improvement of economic indicators that led to the decline of unemployment to 8.1% during the first quarter of 2019, compared to 13.2% in 2014.
Furthermore, Kamaly stressed that there is no sustainable development without meeting energy needs, adding that Egypt in 2016 was one of the first countries to adopt the UN Sustainable Development Goals.