President El-Sisi's Speech at the Opening of the Annual Meetings of the African Development Bank
Tuesday، 23 May 2023 - 03:01 PM
“In the Name of Allah, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful”
Your Excellencies .. the Heads of African State
Gentlemen .. the Heads of Government and International Organizations
Governors of the Central Banks
Ladies and Gentlemen, honorable guests
It gives me pleasure to welcome you in the city of peace “Sharm El-Sheikh”, which is honored to host the annual meetings of the African Development Bank 2023. Egypt has been keen on hosting those meetings for the third time, thus underscoring its immense interest in strengthening regional and international endeavors in support of development efforts in all corners of the African continent.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
The growing and intertwined challenges that world countries are facing are clear to all of you. With the emergence of early recovery signs from the negative repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic on the world economy, the Russian-Ukrainian crisis and international political tensions came to add to the world scene unprecedented complexities, the effects of which appear in severe disruptions in global supply chains and sweeping inflationary waves.
This scene reflects more vigorously on the economies of developing countries, at the forefront of which come the economies of the African continent’s countries, which already suffer from numerous domestic challenges. This requires non-traditional ideas to explore financing options, to contribute to pushing the wheel of much-needed projects, particularly in the fields of addressing climate change challenges and sustainable development. In this regard, it is sufficient to highlight the size of some of Africa's urgent financing needs, according to estimates of the UN and the African Development Bank, including for example:
200 billion dollars annually to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals
144 billion dollars annually to address the negative repercussions of the COVIC-19 pandemic
108 billion dollars annually to finance adaptation projects and upgrade the level of the infrastructure
Here, the significance of these meetings and the role of the African Development Bank in providing adequate financing options to the needs of the continent’s countries, emerge. These options shall achieve the hard balance between providing the huge funds necessary to realize the developmental aspirations, on one hand, and reducing risks of this financing, on the other, by building appropriate financial structures that spur multilateral financing institutions to inject more investments into the arteries of the African countries.
I would like to seize this opportunity to call on multilateral financing institutions to reconsider the criteria and conditions that qualify countries to obtain soft loans, so as to make them available for both low- and middle-income countries, particularly in light of the growing borrowing costs and the increasing debt service burdens, and their negative impact on the budgets of these countries.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
The problem of climate change and its negative repercussions are not only limited to the scope of the state or a certain region, but it is an existential issue that must come at the top of the strategic priorities of all countries in the world.
Contrary to what some might think, the negative repercussions of climate change are on the rise for the least developed countries, which is evident in the countries of the African continent, where these changes lead to high drought rates, widening desertification and declining agricultural crop productivity.
Estimates indicate that drought-related risks in the African continent have resulted in losses of more than $70 billion, as well as a reduction in the continent's agricultural productivity growth by about 34%. The financing needs to address the negative repercussions of climate change in Africa, are estimated at about $3 trillion, until 2030.
In this regard, the positive results of the outcomes and recommendations of the United Nations Climate Summit COP-27, which Egypt chaired last year, are worth mentioning. At the top of those comes the agreement to establish a special fund to provide the necessary funding to compensate for losses and damages to countries affected by floods, drought and other climate disasters.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Economic realities impose the need to stimulate the private sector to assume a greater role in providing the necessary financing for the promotion of environmentally-friendly enterprises, while intensifying mechanisms for the use of clean energy sources and adopting the necessary policies and actions. In this regard, Egypt places huge interest on the environmental dimension. In 2021, the Government of Egypt issued the first edition of the "Environmental Sustainability Standards Guide”, entitled: “The Strategic Framework for Green Recovery”, with the aim of providing the necessary guidance to integrate sustainable development standards into development plans, reflecting positively on the quality of life and the development process.
Undoubtedly, the functions of the current edition of the annual meetings of the African Development Bank (AfDB) represent an outstanding opportunity to share knowledge and expertise and to provide the necessary technical support to address the implications of climate change, with a clear agenda in accordance with a timetable, to identify ways and mechanisms to deal with the various challenges facing African countries in order to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.
Distinguished guests of Egypt,
In conclusion, I would like, once again, to welcome all of you and wish you success in this edition of the annual meetings of the African Development Bank. And I would like to thank the African Development Bank for its tangible efforts in financing development projects across our continent, which makes us look forward to more successful partnerships with the multilateral financial institutions to realize the aspirations of our peoples for development, progress and prosperity.
May Allah’s peace, mercy and blessings be upon you.