Rania Al-Mashat, Egypt’s Minister of Investment and International Cooperation met with representatives from Google and Meta on Sunday, July 17, 2022. The aim of the meeting was to explore the role of startups in combating climate change and enhance technical cooperation as well as exchange experiences in order to use data for achieving development.
According to a statement released by the International Cooperation Ministry, the meeting aligns with Egypt’s efforts in preparation for hosting the UN Climate Change Conference (COP27), which is due to be held on November 7-18 in Sharm El Sheikh city.
In the meeting were a number of entrepreneurial and database leaders including Hesham El Nazer, Director of Google Egypt, Maha Afifi, Director of Government Relations at Google, Carlos Ahmoda, Director of Public Policy and Data for the Middle East and North Africa, and Nadia Diab, Head of Public Policy at Instagram for the Middle East and North Africa.
Al-Mashat explained that the biggest challenge currently faced by Egypt’s development is related to climate change, which is why the Ministry of International Cooperation aims to strengthen partnerships between global companies such as Google and Meta and relevant governmental organizations in order to reach unconventional solutions through supporting young creative entrepreneurs.
She stated that entrepreneurship could play a key role in countering climate change and developing emerging technologies that aim to preserve the environment and mitigate the negative effects resulting from harmful emissions, as well as supporting the efforts to achieve sustainable development.
Al-Mashat also said part of the COP27 plans will be a “Youth Day” which will be dedicated to cooperation opportunities for enhancing the role of youth, innovators, and entrepreneurs to integrate them with the efforts undertaken by governments globally for a greener future.
The minister stated that Egypt has great potential to become a regional hub for startups and entrepreneurship, noting that the International Cooperation Ministry’s portfolio includes around US $1bn for executing 36 projects in this domain.
She further tagged Egypt’s work to expand partnerships aimed at backing startups and young innovators an important catalyst for inclusive and sustainable growth, citing the recent presidential directives for taking steps to enable emerging firms to grow their businesses and give them incentives for growth.
On their part, Google representatives stressed their keenness to foster cooperation with the Egyptian government in light of the country’s chairmanship of the COP 27, in addition to bolstering the efforts exerted to drive startups and innovators to contribute to the fight against climate change.
These discussions align with Egypt’s Vision 2030, as during 2020 and 2021, a portion of the $5b fund allocated for the private sector has been directed to startups and SMEs.