By ; Nahla Makled
Private sector engagement is at the forefront of Egypt’s development agenda; with ongoing efforts push forward the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Egypt’s Ministry of International Cooperation (MOIC), together with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) explore joint efforts to promote SDG Impact Investing, covering the ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) principles and the alignment of investor capital with the SDGs.
As part of this broader scope of work, UNDP and the Egyptian private equity Catalyst Private Equity (CPE) will put in practice an impact measurement towards the SDGs of private sector enterprises and private investments. The initiative responds to growing interest from investors and businesses alike in making a positive impact on society beyond pure financial returns.
Globally, it is estimated that an additional US$2.4 trillion a year will be needed to achieve the SDGs by 2030. A large portion of this financing will need to come from the private sector which is increasingly investing in businesses that contribute positively to the SDGs in addition to being financially as profitable or more compared to mainstream investments.
“Egypt is committed to the principles of stakeholder capitalism; formulating inclusive economic policies to incorporate all societal actors and aligning them towards a common purpose including environmental, social and governance (ESG) indicators. Creating sustainable value creation through impact investing plays a fundamental role in achieving positive measurable outcomes for the society in addition to adequate financial returns”, H.E. Dr. Rania A. Al-Mashat, Minister of International Cooperation stated.
To jump-start practices in Egypt, UNDP and CPE partnership will apply globally recognized impact measurement principles, standards and tools to a concrete pool of investment-ready SMEs that will help these enterprises measure and manage their impact with a practical impact measurement manual and a user-friendly digital platform.
“UNDP is keen to help trigger investment that has positive impact towards the SDGs and UNDP has been promoting Impact Investment and impact management at the global level and in Egypt since 2018. This partnership is a first step towards putting in practice global SDG Impact standards in the nascent impact business ecosystem in Egypt”, says Randa Aboul-Hosn, UNDP Resident Representative in Egypt.
“At Catalyst Partners, we invest capital and knowledge in purpose-driven business, strengthening their development, profitability & social impact, leading to a growth multiplier on millions of lives. To make a social impact through a fully engaged investing approach; we bring extensive expertise and advisory support to the firms we invest in,” notes CPE Managing Director, Mr. Abdelaziz Abdel Nabi.
Underscoring the Ministry's efforts at large and to mainstream support for Impact investment, H.E. Minister Al Mashat added “In 2020, the Ministry of International Cooperation concluded an extensive first-of its kind comprehensive mapping exercise of all development projects financed through Official Development Assistance to identify their alignment with the relevant SDGs, including private-sector led financing. To continue pushing forward achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, this partnership brings impact investing further into the mainstream, providing new firepower to help address development needs and build towards an inclusive economy.”
UNDP Egypt Resident Representative, Ms. Randa Aboul-Hosn, emphasized “Today is a first practical step, but the path we are embarking on is long and important: linking credibly and quantitatively the intended impact of businesses, with their management decisions and their results, creates a powerful feedback loop that harnesses the size and energy of the private sector.”
According to the 2020 Annual Report of the Ministry of International Cooperation Report, Egypt secured USD 9.89 billion in development financing to meet the 2030 target sustainable development, including USD 6.7 billion to finance sovereign projects and USD 3.191billion to support the private sector.