by Mahmoud Fouly, Abdel-Meguid Kamal
CAIRO, Jan. 9 (Xinhua) -- Egypt has made great strides in implementing its national strategy on green economy and is expanding its investments to carry out eco-friendly projects to improve the quality of life for its citizens, according to economic experts.
The North African country is currently implementing a series of green and environment-friendly projects in the sectors of energy, electricity, transportation, water, sanitation and irrigation.
The projects include the Benban Solar Park, a complex of solar power stations in Upper Egypt's province of Aswan, which has recently been inaugurated by Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi.
Egypt's green projects in these sectors amounted to 30 percent of the state budget allocation for investments during the current fiscal year that ends in late June 2022, according to Minister of Planning and Economic Development Hala Al-Saeed.
The government seeks to raise the percentage of green projects to 50 percent of the budget allocated for investments in 2024.
"The Egyptian strategy for the transition to a green economy is part of Egypt's 2030 strategy, as the implementation of projects under green economy regulations guarantees better financing opportunities for them from international institutions, and also improves Egypt's rating in relevant indicators," Egyptian economist Walid Gaballah told Xinhua.
Gaballah, also a member of the Egyptian Society for Political Economy, Statistics and Legislation, added that green projects have become a tangible reality in Egypt that citizens are following and talking about, such as the projects of Benban solar power plant, the electric trains, the natural gas-fueled cars and others.
"Increasing the percentage of green public investments this much reflects the country's determination to achieve the requirements of its transition to green economy and motivate the private sector to go in the same direction, with an eye on becoming a pioneer in green economy in the region," the expert said.
Egypt launched its national strategy on green economy in April 2016 during the African Ministerial Conference on Environment held in Cairo, and the Egyptian government vowed that the environment was one of the cornerstones of Egypt's 2030 strategy.
The country's strategy for a gradual transition to a green economy was launched in partnership with the United Nations Environment Program and the Center for Environment and Development for the Arab Region and Europe.
"Egypt has made great strides in the field of green economy and is in the process of transferring its government to a new green administrative capital city that implements all the requirements of green transformation," Gaballah said.
The Egyptian government has already held its first meeting with its full body at the newly built administrative capital city east of Cairo in late December 2021 as part of the gradual relocation of government offices to the new capital.
Egypt's Red Sea resort city of Sharm El-Sheikh will host in November the 27th edition of the UN climate change conference (COP27) as announced by the international organization during COP26 in Glasgow in November 2021.
Experts believe the summit will be an opportunity to promote Egypt's green projects and attract more green investments to the country, which will boost the Egyptian transition to green economy.
"Egypt has been chosen to host COP27 due to its efforts environment-related issues. This will certainly enhance its orientation towards a green economy," said Egyptian economic expert Karim Al-Omda.
Al-Omda, a lecturer at the Arab Academy for Science, Technology and Maritime Transport, pointed out that the energy sector is the most investment-attractive in Egypt, noting that the country seeks to gradually cover 42 percent of its needs of electricity through renewable energy sources by 2035, compared to 20 percent at present.
"Egypt is following a strategy of transition to green economy because it represents the future," the expert told Xinhua.