Cairo, February 1st, 2019 (ECA) – Strengthening ECA’s collaboration with Egypt was at the heart of Vera Songwe’s discussions with government officials during her visit to Cairo on January 31st – February 1st.
During her two-day visit, ECA’s Executive Secretary met with several government officials, including the Egyptian Prime Minister Mustapha Madbouly, the Minister of Finance Mohamed Maait, the Minister of Trade and Industry Amr Nassar, the Minister of Planning and Administrative Reform Hala el-Saeed, the Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Egypt Lobna Helal and officials at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
With her interlocutors, she examined several areas of focus to strengthen bilateral cooperation and support to Egypt. They discussed several topics including Egypt’s strong economic performance, challenges met as the country seeks to meet the need for balanced growth and macroeconomic stability, national debt management, stronger fiscal policy, innovative health financing and job creation.
They discussed preparations for the 52nd Conference of African Ministers of Finance, Planning and Economic Development, scheduled to take place on 20-26 March 2019 as well as other themes, such as the integration of the Sustainable Development Goals (Agenda 2030) and Agenda 2063 in development strategies; digitalisation and social inclusion.
The Executive Secretary strongly encouraged Egypt to be among the first 22 countries to ratify the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) as it prepares to take the lead of the African Union. She added that the Economic Commission for Africa is ready to provide its support for agreement’s implementation. The AfCFTA is also about creating jobs, said Ms Songwe, who stressed that Egypt’s substantial industrial fabric could allow it to benefit from it.
Ms Songwe informed the Egyptian government officials about the new initiative for public health financing. This is with the hope that President el-Sisi will agree to support this initiative, as it coincides with Egypt’s orientations and reforms for improved access to quality local services.