Transforming Egypt: Journey towards sustainable development | By Qaiser Nawab

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Transforming Egypt: Journey towards sustainable development

THE sands are shifting in Egypt as the country sets its sights on a monumental transformation – one toward sustainable development. With the Nile River running through its veins and a history that spans millennia, Egypt is now embarking on a journey that seeks to balance progress with preservation. Amidst the ever-evolving landscape of modern development, Egypt is rising to the occasion with a bold vision for sustainability. The government has implemented a wide array of reforms that address the pressing environmental, social, economic and issues facing the country. From promoting renewable energy and conservation efforts to tackling poverty and inequality, Egypt is taking significant strides toward achieving the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

One of the critical areas of focus in Egypt’s sustainable development journey is environmental conservation. The country is taking bold steps to address environmental challenges such as water scarcity, pollution and climate change. Egypt has also been investing in renewable energy sources، such as solar and wind power, to reduce its reliance on fossil fuels and curb greenhouse gas emissions. The ambitious “Integrated Sustainable Energy Strategy 2035” aims to achieve 42% of the country’s electricity generation from renewable sources by 2035. The Egyptian Government has mapped out this ambitious plan for the country’s energy future to meet the rapidly increasing energy demand and the requirement of climate change challenges.

Additionally, the country has launched a comprehensive and long-term plan, the National Climate Change Strategy 2050 which reflects Egypt’s vision and goals in mitigation, adaptation, finance, climate governance, technology and scientific research. According to the Minister of Environment, Yasmine Fouad, the strategy has been designed within wider plans for Egypt’s path to green transformation. In recent years, Egypt has positioned itself as a trailblazer in sustainable initiatives with a resolute focus on green architecture and eco-friendly practices. The National Social Housing Program, aimed at providing affordable homes for low-income families, has been making waves for its innovative approach to tackling climate change. In addition to environmental conservation, Egypt also heavily invests in environmental conservation and human capital through skill-building programs and vocational training, promoting economic inclusivity. It focuses on closing gender gaps in health and education, exemplified by the National Strategy for the Empowerment of Egyptian Woman 2030. This strategy aims to enable women to develop their potential leading to self-fulfillment and contributing to Egypt’s development through the creation of sustainable jobs.

Economic diversification and innovation are also key pillars of Egypt’s sustainable development strategy. Egypt focuses on economic diversification and innovation as crucial components of its sustainable development strategy. The country has pursued knowledge-based strategies, digital transformation and enhanced competitiveness to achieve sustainable economic growth. It has been implementing reforms to attract foreign investment, promote entrepreneurship and support innovation across sectors like agriculture, manufacturing and tourism. Moreover, the country aims to boost employment, improve the business environment and enhance financial inclusion. By incorporating environmental and social dimensions, Egypt is striving for a resilient and inclusive economy that promotes sustainability and development. Furthermore, Egypt is prioritizing cultural heritage preservation as a vital component of its sustainable development journey. With its rich history and cultural legacy, Egypt recognizes the importance of protecting and promoting its unique cultural assets, including archaeological sites, museums and intangible cultural heritage.

The Mainstreaming Biodiversity in Egypt’s Tourism (MBDT) project, generously funded by the Global Environment Facility and implemented by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in partnership with the Ministry of Environment, is taking bold steps to promote sustainable tourism practices in Egypt. Through this innovative initiative, eco-certified tourism establishments and businesses are being supported with continuous guidance and resources to raise awareness about sustainable operations.

As Egypt’s journey toward sustainable development continues to gain momentum, the country is leaving no stone unturned in its pursuit of a greener, more inclusive and prosperous future. From the implementation of sweeping policy reforms to the introduction of innovative initiatives, Egypt is blazing a trail in sustainable practices that will have far-reaching benefits for its people and the planet. With a resolute commitment to green architecture, social empowerment, cultural heritage preservation and responsible tourism, Egypt is setting an inspiring example for other nations to follow. As the nation continues to make strides toward its sustainability goals, a brighter and more sustainable future awaits Egypt and its people. The stage is set for a promising road ahead, where sustainable development is not just a lofty goal, but a tangible reality that will benefit present and future generations alike. With unwavering determination and visionary leadership, Egypt is poised to shape a better future for itself and make a positive impact on the global stage as a beacon of sustainable development.

—The writer is a Pakistani Climate Youth Leader, UN SDGs Advocate and an expert on Youth Development in the Global South.

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