The British Egyptian Business Association (BEBA) held a webinar in collaboration with CDC Group (“CDC”), the UK’S Development and Financial Institution (DFI), to discuss the DFI’s operations and investment priorities in helping to solve infrastructure and climate challenges in Egypt and across Africa. The webinar hosted Sherine Shohdy, CDC’s Coverage Director of Egypt, and Chris Chijiutomi, Director and Head of Infrastructure Equity, Africa at CDC. The session was moderated by Khaled Zaki, Chief Operation Officer of DMC.
“We have over 70 years of experience in investing and supporting the sustainable and long-term growth of business across Africa and Asia, in addition to supporting the United Nations’ sustainable development goals (SDGs) which is the core of all our investment decisions”, commented Sherine Shohdy, CDC’s Coverage Director of Egypt. She also added that CDC has a total portfolio value of USD 9.3 billion of which 60% is invested in Africa, and it has invested in more than 1000 businesses across 67 countries in Africa and Asia, in sectors including infrastructure, education, healthcare.
Sherine further stressed the significance of investing in Egypt as a priority market and the company’s interest in expanding its projects in the country. In Egypt, CDC has invested USD 440 million and supports 41 local companies which employ more than 30,000 people – additionally the DFI is invested in 13 private equity funds.
Chris Chijiutomi, Director and Head of Infrastructure Equity, Africa, added that since 2017, infrastructure represents about 30% of CDC’s current portfolio. “We see that infrastructure is a priority for Egypt, as demonstrated by the expansion the country is undergoing, as the government works on replacing 42% of its energy sources with renewable by 2035” Chris stated.
In regard to CDC’s recently announced partnership with DP World , Chris Chijiutomi stated that this is a strategic long-term partnership which includes further investments in developing the Sokhna port in Egypt and helping to consolidate Egypt’s position as a global logistics and manufacturing hub.
He added that the expansion of Ain El Sokhna will support industrial growth and trade from Egypt across the Middle East and Asia. The port will increase job opportunities, enabling 1.4 million jobs, of which 26,000 will be created through the ongoing expansion, and increase access to critical goods and staples for 16 million people.
On combating the challenge of climate change, Chris stated that CDC is providing climate finance investment to back renewable energy projects such as solar, wind or hydroelectric energy across the continent, as part of its support for the Africa’s energy transition.
Sherine Shohdy, CDC’s Coverage Director of Egypt, stressed the company’s efforts in supporting Africa during Covid-19 crisis “Our Covid-19 response was based on 3 main pillars (i) Preserve, (ii) Strengthen, and (iii) Rebuild with the objective of supporting companies build back better as they recover out from the pandemic”.
Finally, the webinar was not complete without a robust discussion from the participants with questions from the audience on CDC’s partnerships, investment ambitions and operations in Egypt and across Africa.