Participation by ECFA Director in the online South-South Cooperation Seminar
On October 21, 2021, Ambassador Dr. Ezzat Saad, ECFA Director, participated in the virtual event organized by the Institute of West-Asian and African Studies in cooperation with the China-Africa Institute of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS), on “Knowledge and Experience Sharing on Poverty Reduction and Sustainable Development”. Dr. Saad began his speech by applauding the Chinese organizers of this seminar for the brilliant idea of launching the “Think Tank Network on Poverty Alleviation and Sustainable Development”, proposed to be hosted by CASS, as part of the South-South Global Thinkers network, which the Egyptian Council for Foreign Affairs is pleased to be part of. Dr. Saad pointed out that the eradication of poverty in all its forms remains one of the major challenges facing humanity. Although the number of people living in extreme poverty was reduced by more than half between 1990 and 2015, from 1.9 billion to 836 million people, many are still struggling to meet basic human needs; which is likely to increase with growing new threats due to climate change, increased conflicts and food insecurity.
Proceeding from the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development adopted by the United Nations Member States for Sustainable Development in 2015, the Egyptian state set the “Egypt Vision 2030” in 2016, which is the first strategy covering the three development dimensions; economic, social and environmental, to be developed according to a participatory strategic planning approach; as various civil society representatives, national and international development partners, and government agencies have collaborated to set comprehensive objectives for all pillars and sectors of the Egyptian state.
It is worth noting that Egypt moved up 9 places in the 2020 SDG Index, as it ranked 83rd out of 166 countries, compared to 92nd place out of 162 countries in 2019. It also ranked seventh in the Arab world, scoring 68.8 degrees in 2020, compared to a regional average of 66.3 degrees for the MENA region. Despite the challenges due to Covid-19 pandemic, Egypt managed to mitigate the consequences of this crisis on the Egyptian economy, and improving its situation in many SDGs.
The government is also keen on constantly updating Egypt’s Vision 2030, in light of the evolving political, economic and social, and environmental situations, at all levels. In conclusion, it must be emphasized that international cooperation, expertise exchange and benefiting from the experiences of others – especially the Chinese experience in the field of development and poverty alleviation – remain necessary conditions for addressing the obstacles and challenges facing developing countries in this regard, as the processes of structural adjustment in China relied on a combination of development aid, trade and investment, in association with development financing and other forms of cooperation aimed at promoting growth in order to start these processes.