Economy & Business Middle East
empowerME Conversations September 27, 2022

Economies in Transition: Egypt

By Atlantic Council

In Season 3, Episode 2 of empowerME Conversations podcast, host and Atlantic Council empowerME Chairman Amjad Ahmad speaks with Egypt’s Minister of International Cooperation H.E. Rania Al-Mashat and guest co-host UPS President of International Public Affairs and Sustainability Penelope Naas to discuss Egypt hosting COP 27, increasing women in leadership positions, promoting inclusivity in the economy, energy transitions, and the continued development of Egypt’s entrepreneurial ecosystem.


“Women’s participation requires commitment from the government. And once that happens, culture starts to change… when women are in leadership positions and they do well, it becomes more familiar.”

H.E. Rania Al-Mashat, Egypt Minister of International Cooperation

Key Takeaways

0:00 Intro

4:50 H.E. Rania Al-Mashat discussed Egypt as the first country in the Middle East and North Africa or in Africa to issue green bonds, which are anchored on projects that have outcomes related to climate action, such as sustainable infrastructure, water, waste management, transportation, and renewables. 

6:10 H.E. Al-Mashat underscored Egypt’s forethought as the country invested in silos for wheat storage for the first time in 2014, demonstrating the resilience in adaptation projects which allowed the country to survive the wheat crisis.  

9:10 H.E. Al-Mashat argued that Egypt will attract capital amongst competition because of its success and goals such as the global competition for startups with Green Solutions and continued focus on adaptation for Africa.  

13:20 H.E. Al-Mashat emphasized the importance of COP 27 and the necessary energy transitions in Egypt, and Africa at large. 

17:00 H.E. Al-Mashat gave an overview of Egypt’s current and future projects to target climate action, such as the Integrated Sustainable Energy Strategy which includes KPIs for renewables, both wind farms, and solar plants, and by 2035 40% of Egypt’s energy mix will be renewables.

19:45 Penelope Naas reflected on Egypt asan important crossroad with regards to Egyptian waterways connecting the East to the West, and how this relates to Egypt’s relative climate and the fragility of supply chains and infrastructure. 

23:10 H.E. Al-Mashat asserted that regionalization and localization are not mutually exclusive when it comes to supply chain resiliency and furthered that there must be localization but with a level playing field.

26:23 H.E. Al-Mashat stated that there are three words that shape the future of every country’s economy: inclusive, digital, and green.
29:30 H.E. Al-Mashat agreed that Egypt must continue to support women at all levels and cited the Closing the Gender Gap accelerator which supports women in leadership positions, pushes for equal remuneration, and also pushes for digital skills.

32:40 H.E. Al-Mashat reflected on Egypt’s increased emphasis on the implementation and execution of recent projects and those since 2011. 

37:50 H.E. Al-Mashat purported her optimism and positivity for Egypt come from the amount of engagement that takes place within the country and with other countries. 

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The empowerME Conversations podcast features conversations with business and government leaders shaping the Middle East. The podcast sheds light on key opportunities and challenges for companies and governments, and Season 3 will focus on government ministers driving regional economic growth. Season 3 of the empowerME Conversations podcast is powered by UPS.

Related Experts: Amjad Ahmad