IEA Executive Director Fatih Birol visited Cairo on 14 February, delivering an opening keynote speech at the EGYPS 2022 international energy conference to a high-level audience including Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi, members of the Egyptian Cabinet and leading figures from a range of governments and global organisations. Dr Birol also held bilateral meetings with several Egyptian Government Ministers and other officials. The visit came at an important time for energy and climate issues in Egypt, which will host the COP27 Climate Change Conference in November and is moving towards closer ties with the IEA.
In his speech, Dr Birol highlighted several notable recent achievements in the Egyptian energy sector. This includes a serious effort to reform subsidies that has unlocked private and international investment, allowed the country to diversify its power mix, and enabled it to launch an ambitious renewable energy programme spearheaded by solar power.
The mission to Cairo also provided the opportunity for Dr Birol to hold meetings with key Ministers from the Government of Egypt, which recently submitted a formal request to become an IEA Association country. (The IEA currently has eight Association countries comprising prominent emerging economies from across the globe. Dr Birol’s bilateral meetings with Minister of Petroleum Tarek El-Molla, Minister of Electricity and Renewable Energy Shaker El-Markabi, Minister of Environment Yasmine Fouad and Assistant Secretary for Foreign Affairs Hisham Seifeldin, addressed possible areas for future cooperation, including hydrogen, renewables integration, energy efficiency and technical support for Egypt’s upcoming Presidency of COP27.
While in Cairo, Dr Birol also met with Israel’s Minister of Energy Karine Elharrar to discuss recent energy market dynamics and hear an update on Israel’s process of accession to the IEA. In addition, he had bilateral conversations with Amani Abou-Zeid, the African Union Commissioner for Infrastructure and Energy, and Mohammed Barkindo, the Secretary General of OPEC, among others.