CAIRO - 14 December 2022: Egypt's Minister of International Cooperation, Rania A. Al-Mashat, received the award for “Most Visionary and Outstanding Minister of International Cooperation of 2022 in Africa”, presented by the George Washington University Institute of African Studies and the GE7 Initiative in the Visionary Leaders Annual Summit in Washington D.C.
This comes in line with the second U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit hosted by the USA in the presence of U.S. President and African heads of state.
The award was presented by the Director of George Washington University Institute of African Studies Dr. Jennifer Cooke, in the presence of the Founder GE7 Initiative Amy Sarr Fall and many representatives of International Financial Institutions (IFIs) such as the World Bank Group (WBG), the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the African Export-Import Bank, the African Development Bank (AfDB), the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa (BADEA), and along with students and researchers at major US universities, representatives of US government, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and many others.
The ceremony began with a presentation of a short documentary film about the Minister’s efforts and contributions to strengthening international cooperation and advancing sustainable development efforts.
This award is due to Al-Mashat’s efforts in advancing international cooperation in 2022, and the minister’s pivotal role in reformulating the mechanisms of international cooperation and development financing, all in line with achieving Egypt’s national objectives and ensuring their consistency with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
This is also in line with Al-Mashat’s commitment to launching innovative and practical initiatives to mobilize necessary financing and international support on climate issues and the green transformation on a global and local level at COP27, held in Sharm El-Sheikh. This was done especially through the launch of the Sharm El-Sheikh Guidebook for Just Financing and Egypt’s Country Platform for the Nexus of Water, Food and Energy NWFE Program.
During the ceremony, Al-Mashat thanked President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi for his support and commitment to enhancing economic diplomacy and international cooperation efforts, as well as in consolidating relations on a global level to enhance progress towards development while also meeting Egypt’s own national objectives.
Since assuming the portfolio of the Ministry of International Cooperation, Al-Mashat initiated a practical and global framework for international cooperation and development financing through the pillars of economic diplomacy, all in line with the UN frameworks and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). This is to enhance the effectiveness of international cooperation in stimulating development efforts between Egypt and all its multilateral and bilateral partners, supporting the national vision and its consistency with the 2030 UN SDGs.
This framework has proven its effectiveness and flexibility in facing the successive economic and geopolitical challenges, and in addressing the most important contemporary and climate-related issues that require close cooperation and coordination between countries, IFIs and relevant stakeholders.
To that end, the Ministry of International Cooperation launched the Sharm El-Sheikh Guidebook for Just Financing at COP27, and presented developments in moving from pledges to implementation through Egypt’s Country Platform for the Nexus of Water, Food and Energy (NWFE Program). In the coming period, these initiatives will be on the agenda of priorities for cooperation with IFIs, including discussions on how to ensure knowledge sharing and transfer to other developing and emerging economies.
Innovative mechanisms were presented in the launch of the NWFE Program, putting forth an integrated approach to climate finance and in addressing adaptation, mitigation and resilience efforts through a practical model built on a regional and international level. In turn, this supports the implementation of climate commitments by providing international support to stimulate the green transition. This has also been applauded by many development partners such as the U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for Climate, the European Commissions, the European Union, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), the Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero (GFANZ), and others.
Moreover, the Sharm El-Sheikh Guidebook for Just Financing was also launched as one of initiatives presented by the COP27 Presidency. This guidebook was prepared over the past year in cooperation with over 100 stakeholders from development partners, IFIs, NGOs, and private sector; all working towards developing a mechanism and tools for a clear framework that enhances the ability of countries to provide innovative climate financing, supporting emerging countries in their just, green transition.
On the road to COP27, the Ministry of International Cooperation hosted the second edition of the Egypt - International Cooperation Forum (Egypt - ICF), convening African ministers of finance, economy and environment. This was held in the presence of, and under the patronage of President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, where, together with the international community, practical examples on a framework for cooperation and development finance was presented with a special focus on Africa, setting priorities in the green transition.
During the ceremony, Al-Mashat presented the Lifetime Achievement Award to Don Stephens, the Founder of Mercy Ship which was established in 1978 with the aim of providing free health care services to low-income citizens in developing and developed countries. In the past 36 years, Mercy Ship has made over 564 voyages in 53 developing and 17 developed countries, worth $1 billion, where health care services to over 2.3 million citizens were provided in Africa and other countries, as well as 61 thousand free surgeries.
When receiving his award, Stephens also thanked H.E. President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi and Egypt for their role in facilitating the transit of ships to the African continent and for waiving traffic fees through the Suez Canal so that Mercy Ships can carry on its role in promoting healthcare for citizens.
The George Washington University Institute of African Studies is a multidisciplinary center in the Elliott School of International Affairs, connecting students and researchers who have interest in the African Continent. Moreover, the GE7 Initiative is a global initiative that promotes the SDGs, discusses challenges that impede the SDGs and economic growth, and promotes investment in human capital. The GE7 Visionary Leaders Annual Summit was held this year in Washington to honor influential African leaders one day before the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit.