On COP28 Sidelines: Egypt’s Planning Minister participates in a Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI) side event
03 December 2023
H.E. Dr. Hala El-Said, Minister of Planning and Economic Development, participated in a Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI) side event entitled “Africa and the Middle East SAFE: Initiative Scaling-up Agriculture and Food Systems for Economic Development”
The event took place during Cop28 which is currently being held starting from November 30 to December 12, 2023, in Dubai.
In her speech, Dr. Hala El-Said said that the Africa and Middle East region faces major challenges in food security due to limited agricultural and water resources, changing dietary patterns and ongoing geopolitical challenges that are rapidly intensifying due to population growth.
El-Said pointed out that these challenges hinder local food production, making the region one of the least self-sufficient regions in terms of food, in addition to exacerbating these challenges due to climate change.
She added that limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius is expected to significantly reduce the damage to the economies of Africa and the Middle East region compared to higher levels of global warming.
El-Said noted that the two regions, especially Africa, are already suffering from serious negative impacts resulting from climate change, which exceed their ability to adapt, adding that it affects the quality of life of citizens, especially those who live in villages and rural areas.
She further explained that climate impacts also affected the agricultural sector, which represents one of the main economic sectors in Africa and the Middle East region, harming crops.
She stressed appreciation for the various international and regional efforts to support the ability of African countries and the Middle East region to adapt to the impact of climate and build resilience for current and future generations.
El-Said added that these efforts and initiatives need to be supported with the necessary tools and mechanisms to ensure their ability to achieve their goals to accelerate climate action in different regions, especially in vital sectors such as agriculture and food security.
El-Said said that financing tools represent an essential element in determining priorities and drawing up the necessary policies, by looking at the current levels of external and internal debt of African countries, which limit the ability of decision-makers to advance ambitious measures.
El-Said highlighted the need to consider financing projects to reduce the effects of climate change through grants, which mainly serve adaptation, or through soft loans and guarantees, in a way that allows the decision-maker to make appropriate decisions without burdening future generations.
El-Said pointed out that during COP27, Egypt launched the “A Decent Life for an Africa Resilient in Climate Change” initiative, which was inspired by the Egyptian initiative “A Decent Life” and the experience gained over recent years through its implementation to improve the quality of life of the Egyptian citizen in the villages most in need.
El-Said said that the efforts made in the Decent Life for Africa Initiative and “Africa and the Middle East SAFE: Initiative Scaling-up Agriculture and Food Systems for Economic Development” can complement each other to coordinate and integrate efforts to reach the ultimate goal of the ability to adapt to climate change in Africa and the Middle East.
El-Said concluded by stressing that building and strengthening partnerships, which lie at the core of all development agendas, is essential to moving development and climate agendas in Africa and the Middle East region forward and ensuring that efforts respond to the needs and priorities of citizens.