Egypt calls for unified voice in Africa to promote triangular cooperation and help continent meet SDGs

  • Triangular partnerships key to leveraging and scaling up innovations in emerging economies, Egypt-ICF hears
  • H.E. Dr. Rania A. Al-Mashat: Africa can accelerate SDG progress by sharing experiences and knowledge between countries
  • Africa must diversify its development partnerships to turn COVID-19 challenges into opportunities
  • Role of triangular partnerships in vaccine distribution during pandemic highlights need for South-South cooperation in Africa

Cairo Egypt: H.E. Dr. Rania A. Al-Mashat, Egypt’s Minister of International Cooperation, has urged African nations to develop more inclusive, horizontal triangular relationships to leverage and scale up innovations to help meet the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) following the pandemic.

Calling for a “unified voice” at the inaugural Egypt International Cooperation Forum (Egypt-ICF) in Cairo, the Minister said knowledge sharing on a regional level is “a very important part of triangular cooperation”. Triangular cooperation is defined by the UN as partnerships between two or more developing countries, supported by a developed country or multilateral organization.

“When we share experiences, we can take shortcuts,” she told a workshop titled ‘Triangular Cooperation with Africa’, which also covered South-South cooperation. “If a country implements a project or policy successfully in relation to its SDGs, it can give us that know-how. We can approach the international community having saved time rather than design over and over again.”

The uncertainties created by the COVID-19 pandemic have put the African continent at risk of not meeting the SDGs. To turn these challenges and megatrends into opportunities, it will be vital for Africa to diversify its development partnerships through triangular cooperation, the session heard.

Through triangular cooperation,  there is scope to expand and improve the implementation of the modality across the continent to scale up innovation and share successful solutions.

Underlining the need for more triangular cooperation, H.E.  Al-Mashat shared: “As long as we are faced with the challenges that we see globally, there will always be a continuous movement of innovating. We will need the will and optimism to be able to push forward in spite of the challenges. And I look forward to engaging with my colleagues everywhere and all the stakeholders because everyone has a role to play. Nobody has the ultimate answer, the pandemic proved that.”

H.E. Francisco André, Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of Portugal, said: “Triangular cooperation is a modality that is rapidly fostering the exchange of knowledge and strengthening relations between partners.” Speaking about the global South, he added: “We may have a shortage of resources and some competencies, but we have a  will and determination to achieve success and overcome obstacles.”

H.E. Salama AlGhawil, Minister of State for Economic Affairs of Libya, elaborated: “South-South cooperation is a good model for developing countries because these countries have a similar socio-economic climate that will foster their cooperation.”

Countries engaging in triangular cooperation can have ownership over projects and adapt them to local realities. Partner countries can also divide responsibilities based on their area of expertise so they can make best use of their comparative advantages.

H.E. Ambassador Albert Shingiro, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Development Cooperation of Burundi, remarked that: “South-South cooperation is a successful platform for collaboration and exchanging skills, transferring technologies, expertise and knowledge between countries, and ensuring maximum trust.”

He added: “There is a need to utilize North-South cooperation, South-South cooperation and triangular cooperation for the welfare of people.”

Addressing the panel, Anping Ye, Director of the South-South and Triangular Cooperation Division (PST) at the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), said: “Triangular cooperation, in particular with Africa, is very useful to share experience, knowledge, and promote innovation and technologies. It can enable a lot of policies and innovative methods.”

About the Egypt – International Cooperation Forum:

The Egypt — International Cooperation Forum (Egypt — ICF) is a two-day global event that convenes the international community to drive a sustainable recovery through multilateralism.

Organized by Egypt’s Ministry of International Cooperation, the Forum is being held in Cairo, Egypt, between 8-9 September 2021 in a hybrid format – allowing both physical and virtual attendance.

The Egypt — ICF provides a unique global platform in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, to bring together international policymakers, multilateral and bilateral development partners, private sector stakeholders, civil society and think tanks to collaboratively reboot international cooperation through economic diplomacy in the post-pandemic era.

The Forum aims to foster a collective international commitment to accelerate the transition to a green and inclusive global recovery, catalyze social mobility in Africa and tackle climate change.

The Egypt — ICF is co-organized with leading international development institutions, including: the United Nations, the World Bank Group, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the African Development Bank (AfDB), and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD).