• Dr. Omran: The Regional Center for Sustainable Finance (RCSF) aims to spread awareness of sustainable development and promote green economy within financial sectors
• Dr. Omran: The African continent is the second fastest growing region in the world and the most vulnerable to climate change
Dr. Mohammed Omran – FRA’s Chairman reveals that FRA’s BOD approves a draft resolution on establishing the Regional Center for Sustainable Finance (RCSF). The draft resolution will be submitted to the Prime Minister to take the necessary measures to issue a presidential decree in this regard. This step is considered as an executive procedure to accelerate the transformation towards a green and sustainable economy and create the necessary information and research base to help entities and companies take the necessary actions and decisions to comply with environmental and social standards in Africa and the Middle East.
FRA’s Chairman says that the Regional Center for Sustainable Finance represents one of the initiatives launched by FRA to achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals 2030 and Egypt Vision 2030. Such an initiative aims at keeping pace with global developments. Besides, providing more flexible solutions in preparation for a new economic reality in light of climate change scenarios, scarcity of natural resources and the urgent need for comprehensive economic and social development. The Center is expected to play an influential role in facilitating and directing global investments for environmentally friendly projects within of the new administrative capital and paving the way for the Egyptian state to re-replicate successful experiences of green projects such as Aswan’s village of Benban.
According to Dr. Omran, the Center will have a prominent regional role, as there is a growing interest from governments and people to work on sustainability issues faster than ever before. He added that many entities started to learn more about the challenges and opportunities for the non-banking financial sector to finance sustainable and green projects. Thus, in order to support the transition to strong economic sectors this will require the provision and development of new financial instruments that will attract these projects, especially within the African continent and the Middle East region.
Dr. Omran adds that statistical reports issued by the African Union indicates that the African Union is the second fastest growing region in the world, with an annual growth rate of 4.6% between 2000 and 2016. The real GDP of Africa is expected to grow by 3.9% per annum during the current five-year period to 2022, but the continent will face number of challenges at the same time related to climate change and its severe economic, social and environmental impact, according to UN reports. Consequently, this will have negative impacts on food and water security in the continent which already suffers from poverty, as well as the noticeable effects of global warming in the Arab region that is exposed to droughts and shortage of clean drinking water.
Dr. Omran emphasizes that establishing a Regional Center for Sustainable Finance stems from the central role of Egypt that currently holds the presidency of the African Union and which work closely to promote sustainable development goals and align them with the agenda of the African Union. In this context, FRA starts to launch initiatives such as the Regional Center for Sustainable Finance to turn challenges into opportunities through African and Arab economic integration, provide solutions to fill financing gaps. Also, such initiatives seek to involve all institutions, especially SMEs that have the potential to open labor markets, especially in the fields of industrialization to reduce youth unemployment and raise growth rates.
Moreover, the Regional Center for Sustainable Finance will be the nucleus for the existence of advanced research centers that can conduct researches and assessments necessary to balance climate change and achieve sustainable development gradually. That is besides supporting the transformation of the non-banking financial sector to a green and sustainable economy. In addition to increasing coordination and cooperation with similar institutions and entities in Africa to optimize the use of available minds and expertise and achieve economic integration, innovation and development.
FRA’s Chairman stresses that the project of the Regional Center for Sustainable Finance includes the achievement of several objectives, namely spreading awareness of sustainable development, promoting green economy within the financial sectors, providing technical support and advice to investors and government agencies concerned to achieve sustainable development goal. That is besides spreading education and awareness of the importance of sustainable finance, establishing an electronic platform for presenting trends and developments in sustainable finance and related topics. Also, the Center will conduct environmental and community assessment of institutions and communicate and cooperate with similar centers and entities abroad in order to exchange experiences in the field of sustainable finance. Moreover, the Center will issue brochures, publications and other means of awareness using new technology.
The Center also aims to open a community dialogue among all actors in the economic scene to promote mechanisms and initiatives of financial inclusion in order to achieve inclusive economic growth that takes into account social and environmental development as well as economic development that can no longer alone absorb the challenges facing the world.