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AfDB sent a large delegation to the Egyptian Economic Development Conference (EEDC) held March 13-15, 2015 in Sharm el-Sheikh. Intended to promote the new fundamentals of the Egyptian economy, the EEDC attracted a host of leaders and more than 2,000 participants.
Requested by the Egyptian authorities, the African Development Bank (AfDB) could do no less than mark its participation with an active presence at the Egyptian Economic Conference (EEDC), held March 13-15, 2015 in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. "We are here to support the path for growth of the Egyptian economy", said AfDB Vice-President Aly Abou-Sabaa, the head of the large AfDB delegation. "Egypt's engagement with the rest of Africa is historic and ancient. The country's economic growth, therefore, is not only important for the 86 million Egyptians who live here, but also for the rest of the continent."
Appointed AfDB Resident Representative in Egypt in January 2014, Leïla Farah Mokaddem is the embodiment of the image of the institution and is responsible for supervising the various projects the Bank is conducting there. For the year 2015, she announced, "the Bank will strengthen its programme of loans, with public-private partnerships in renewable energies and in conventional energy infrastructure. AfDB will work to align itself with the priority of the Government, which is to focus on inclusive growth and social inclusion for all Egyptians."
On the same lines, AfDB Regional Director for North Africa Jacob Kolster said that this loans programme would amount to some US $500 million in 2015 and that it would "be complemented by technical assistance and capacity-building. This would help Egypt return to strong, inclusive growth that would benefit all Egyptians," Kolster said, adding: "As the most populous country in the Arab world and the largest economy in North Africa, Egypt is of the utmost importance to the African Development Bank. And that is why the Bank is strongly supporting the EEDC and the country's economy."
"Egypt is committed to large-scale national projects targeted at strengthening the competitiveness of the economy, creating job opportunities and attracting private investment from home and abroad," added another eminent member of the AfDB delegation, Tas Anvaripour, who heads the new special infrastructure fund, Africa50. "Egypt's vision is totally in line with Africa50 and we are there to help the country achieve these ambitious objectives," she said.
Over 2,000 participants from all over the world – ministers, heads of government, senior officials, leaders of multilateral development banks and financial institutions, CEOs of multinationals, and more – gathered at the Sharm el-Sheik Congress Center on Friday, March 13 for the opening of this international conference under the aegis of President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.
In his opening address, the Egyptian Head of State launched the Forum, which in addition to capturing the interest of investors is intended to set out the vision of the major focuses of the future economy of the country. Wishing to underline the importance he attaches to the EEDC, he attended all the presentations and speeches throughout the rest of the day, before inviting the most important of the personalities present to dinner, including AfDB Vice-President Aly Abou Sabaa, who was representing AfDB President Donald Kaberuka. The Egyptian President marked the EEDC with his presence through to its close on Sunday, March 15.