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Egyptian Minister Becomes First Woman on UNDP Social Impact Fund’s Advisory Board

31 May, 2017
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The United Nations has appointed Egypt’s Minister of Investment and International Cooperation Sahar Nasr as a member on the high level Advisory Board of the United Nations Development Program’s Social Impact Fund, making her the first woman, Egyptian and African to join the board.

Nasr was sworn in as the Egyptian Minister of Investment and International Cooperation on February 16. The selection of the minister for the board was made following her efforts toward development.

Since assuming her role as the Minister of International Cooperation in September 2015, Nasr has made several strides in restructuring and reforming the ministry, such as the establishment of a unit for monitoring and evaluation and a policy development and strategic planning unit in order to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of Official Development Assistance (ODA) to Egypt.

Nasr has focused on strengthening Egypt’s ties with its existing international partners, as well as exploring new opportunities for cooperation, all through the establishment of mutually-beneficial partnerships. This has involved consolidating Egyptian-Gulf relationships, expanding and deepening ties with African states and exploring new relationships with Asian partners.

She is the National Coordinator of the National Committee for the Follow-Up on the Implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Nasr also serves as Governor of Egypt to several institutions, such as the World Bank, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank.

Nasr has also been a member of the Economic Development Council of the Presidential Office through which she provided economic consultations to the president and drafted several proposals for the development of Egypt’s economic policies, boosting economic development efforts, coordinating and streamlining development initiatives and programs across different ministries and authorities, as well as to ensure the modernization of the economic performance system. She was granted the 2015 prize of the most influential woman in the Arab economic sector.

The minister is also a professor of economics at the American University in Cairo and a lecturer at several Egyptian and foreign universities.

UNDP Country Director Randa Aboul Hassan met with Nasr on Tuesday to discuss further cooperation to promote investment and enhance the business climate in order to achieve Egypt’s SDGs. Discussions also addressed the required steps to set up an investment supportive fund with developmental dimensions in Egypt that would encourage the spirit of entrepreneurship, provide job opportunities to youth and help realize development goals in Egypt. 

The minister expressed her appreciation of the UNDP’s decision to select her as member and for its support of entrepreneurship, besides providing job opportunities to youth and women, which, in turn, helps Egypt achieve its own development goals and the overall SDGs. She stressed that through her membership on the board, she would be committed to the achievement of the SDGs, including the development of SMEs and the economic empowerment of women.

Both sides tackled encouraging developmental investments in Egypt as a significant means of realizing optimum benefits from investments. They also addressed means of cooperation in several ongoing fields, especially capacity building, technical support and contribution to development projects in Egypt. The minister reiterated that it was essential that all funds provided by the UNDP were in line with the people’s priorities and the Egyptian government’s program. 

The efforts exerted in support of the sustainable development strategy in Egypt were also highlighted, while Nasr demonstrated that, in her capacity as the Coordinator of the National Committee for Monitoring SDGs, she coordinated with the various ministries engaged in the sustainable development strategy to help achieve the strategy’s goals.

Tags Sahar Nasr UNDP Development Ministry of Finance and International Cooperation