CAIRO: Participants in the Egypt Forum for International Cooperation and Development Finance said that Africa needs more funding for sustainable development.
The Egyptian Minister of International Cooperation, Rania Al-Mashat, said that the international cooperation portfolio for projects amounted to $25 billion.
Al-Mashat's statements came on the sidelines of the Egypt Forum for International Cooperation and Development Finance ICF Egypt 2021, which kicked off on Wednesday.
Al-Mashat also said that the pandemic emphasized the need to focus on multilateral cooperation to achieve sustainable development. This has prompted Egypt to gather relevant parties from governments, the private sector, and international bodies in order to share the experiences of different countries, she said.
She noted that the pandemic has shown that no country, whatever its capabilities, will be able to achieve comprehensive and sustainable recovery on its own.
This reinforces the importance of multilateral cooperation, as a key tool to overcome the pandemic and complete our journey towards achieving the sustainable development goals, she added.
Her Ministry of International Cooperation added that it has prepared a map to match development funds with the UN goals for sustainable development.
Al-Mashat stressed that based on the specificity of the African continent, with its natural resources and young, energetic population, regional cooperation mechanisms — in light of the African Free Trade Agreement and triangular cooperation with the continent of Africa — are effective tools that can help advance Africa's Agenda 2063.
Al-Mashat explained that the forum discusses strengthening international financing mechanisms to bridge the financing gap to achieve the sustainable development goals.
Data from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development indicate that only 1 percent of global assets worth $379 trillion are able to bridge this gap, which requires financing innovative tools.
Jeffrey Schlagenhoff, Deputy Secretary-General of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, said that the funds received by Africa are insufficient to achieve sustainable development in the countries of that continent that suffer from many problems.
He added, "Africa received grants worth $41.4 billion during the year 2018-2019, which is insufficient for its needs. There is an urgent need to mobilize international funds for sustainable development goals, and to stimulate the private sector."
Jutta Orbelinen, European Commissioner for International Partnerships, expressed fears about the pandemic, which has killed about 4.5 million people. Increasing economic equality is a major repercussion of this, she said.
"Together, we can promote sustainable growth and increase women's and youth education,” Orbelinen added, stressing the EU's readiness for continuous cooperation with all parties to support development efforts.
The European Commissioner for International Partnerships expressed her hope for the success of the summit of the European and African Unions to be held in 2022, and the need to transform challenges into opportunities.
Amina Mohammed, Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations and Chair of the United Nations Sustainable Development Group, stressed the importance of the forum in transferring knowledge and exploring greater opportunities for more international cooperation in achieving the common goals of countries.