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Egypt makes great strides toward green economy

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By Mahmoud Fouly, Abdel-Meguid Kamal (Xinhua)

Egypt has made great strides in implementing its national strategy on green economy and is expanding its investments to carry out eco-friendly projects to improve the quality of life for its citizens, according to economic experts.

The North African country is currently implementing a series of green and environment-friendly projects in the sectors of energy, electricity, transportation, water, sanitation and irrigation.

Photo taken on March 18, 2019 shows a view of TBEA solar power station at the Benban Solar Energy Park in Egypt’s southern province of Aswan, March 18, 2019. (Xinhua/Ahmed Gomaa)

The projects include the Benban Solar Park, a complex of solar power stations in Upper Egypt’s province of Aswan, which has recently been inaugurated by Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi.

Egypt’s green projects in these sectors amounted to 30 percent of the state budget allocation for investments during the current fiscal year that ends in late June 2022, according to Minister of Planning and Economic Development Hala Al-Saeed.

The government seeks to raise the percentage of green projects to 50 percent of the budget allocated for investments in 2024.

“The Egyptian strategy for the transition to a green economy is part of Egypt’s 2030 strategy, as the implementation of projects under green economy regulations guarantees better financing opportunities for them from international institutions, and also improves Egypt’s rating in relevant indicators,” Egyptian economist Walid Gaballah told Xinhua.

Gaballah, also a member of the Egyptian Society for Political Economy, Statistics and Legislation, added that green projects have become a tangible reality in Egypt that citizens are following and talking about, such as the projects of Benban solar power plant, the electric trains, the natural gas-fueled cars and others.

“Increasing the percentage of green public investments this much reflects the country’s determination to achieve the requirements of its transition to green economy and motivate the private sector to go in the same direction, with an eye on becoming a pioneer in green economy in the region,” the expert said.

Egypt launched its national strategy on green economy in April 2016 during the African Ministerial Conference on Environment held in Cairo, and the Egyptian government vowed that the environment was one of the cornerstones of Egypt’s 2030 strategy.

The country’s strategy for a gradual transition to a green economy was launched in partnership with the United Nations Environment Program and the Center for Environment and Development for the Arab Region and Europe.

“Egypt has made great strides in the field of green economy and is in the process of transferring its government to a new green administrative capital city that implements all the requirements of green transformation,” Gaballah said.

The Egyptian government has already held its first meeting with its full body at the newly built administrative capital city east of Cairo in late December 2021 as part of the gradual relocation of government offices to the new capital.

Photo taken on Nov. 13, 2021 shows the closing plenary of the 26th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP26) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in Glasgow, the United Kingdom. (Xinhua/Han Yan)

Egypt’s Red Sea resort city of Sharm El-Sheikh will host in November the 27th edition of the UN climate change conference (COP27) as announced by the international organization during COP26 in Glasgow in November 2021.

Experts believe the summit will be an opportunity to promote Egypt’s green projects and attract more green investments to the country, which will boost the Egyptian transition to green economy.

“Egypt has been chosen to host COP27 due to its efforts environment-related issues. This will certainly enhance its orientation towards a green economy,” said Egyptian economic expert Karim Al-Omda.

Al-Omda, a lecturer at the Arab Academy for Science, Technology and Maritime Transport, pointed out that the energy sector is the most investment-attractive in Egypt, noting that the country seeks to gradually cover 42 percent of its needs of electricity through renewable energy sources by 2035, compared to 20 percent at present.

“Egypt is following a strategy of transition to green economy because it represents the future,” the expert told Xinhua.

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England lifts COVID-19 pandemic restriction-Omicron marks end of the pandemic.

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England has lifted its restrictions implemented in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Speaking at a press conference at Downing Street, Health Secretary Sajid Javad stated that the England will be lifting the restrictions implemented in wake of the COVID-19 pandemic but the legal requirement to self-isolate if tested positive for the virus will continue.

While Health Secretary Sajid Javad stated that it was a major milestone, he also stated that “It’s not the end of the road and we shouldn’t see this as the finish line because we cannot eradicate this virus and its future variants. Instead we must learn to live with Covid in the same way we have to live with flu”.

This has also meant that the work-from-home guidance would be ending with the majority of the nation’s workforce reverting to pre-pandemic work schedules. Additionally, students will also be no longer required to wear masks at schools.

Moreover, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has also confirmed that the Government plans to end the legal requirement for positive cases to isolate by late March, but may move the date forward.

The U.S. has also hinted that the pandemic may be heading towards an end. Chief Medical Advisor to the President of the United States, Dr. Anthony Fauci has stated that the Omicron variant may mark the end of the pandemic.

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New Japanese Ambassador Takeuchi Midori presents her credentials to President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih.

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The new Japanese ambassador to the Maldives, Takeuchi Midori has presented her credentials to President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih.

Ambassador Takeuchi Midori presented her credentials to President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih at a special ceremony held earlier today at the President’s Office.

Speaking at the ceremony President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih noted on the Ambassador Takeuchi Midori’s predecessor Keiko Yanai’s work in enhancing bilateral relations between the two nations. President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih expressed hope in continuing to further strengthen the bilateral relations between the two nations under Ambassador Takeuchi Midori tenure.

Ambassador Takeuchi Midori also spoke at the ceremony, noting that this year marks the 55th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between the Maldives and Japan. She expressed hope that the two nations would work together on regional and global issues.

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China’s homemade C919 passenger plane to be delivered this year

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China’s self-developed C919 large passenger aircraft will be delivered within this year, The Paper reported on Wednesday, citing its developer.

Wu Yongliang, deputy general manager of the Shanghai-based Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China (COMAC), said the pandemic’s impact on the C919 project has been controllable, and the work is progressing in an orderly manner.

American aerospace manufacturer Boeing and France-based Airbus have long been the so-called duopoly in the commercial airline market worth trillions of U.S. dollars.

The C919, as part of China’s goal to develop homemade civil airplanes, is trying to rival with medium-range aircraft from the two global giants, such as Airbus’s A320 and Boeing’s 737 MAX.

C919 has 158 to 168 seats, a standard range of 4,075 kilometers and a maximum range of 5,555 kilometers. It had its successful maiden flight in 2017.

China Eastern Airlines, one of the country’s largest airlines also headquartered in Shanghai, signed a contract to buy five C919 jetliners from COMAC in March 2021.

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