Name? Abdel Fattah al-Sisi
Westphalian identity? Egyptian
Why is he in the news? In case you have not heard, the COP27 is happening right now in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. Egyptian president Abel Fattah al-Sisi has particularly been in the spotlight, as his country is representing a sweeping trend of ‘greenification’ of government plans within the developing world and, in particular, in the Middle East. Last week, Egypt received a new loan from the African Development Bank for $130 million, and an additional $30 million supplied by China. Only a few days later, US President Joe Biden announced a pledge, with the EU, of $500 million to help Egypt with its energy transition away from fossil fuels.
Why do we care? Egypt has been suffering from high inflation, liquidity problems, and supply chain disruptions due to the war in Ukraine – amongst other things. These new loans are a net good for a country that has been having to ration energy the past few months, and extra money will certainly ease al-Sisi’s job, as negotiations for an IMF loan had stalled and protests had broken out. Oh, and sustainability, woo-hoo!
Why should you care? al-Sisi’s success and the success of the COP27 is something you should care 10/10 about. Especially given that one of Egypt’s most beautiful cities, Alexandria, one of the first cities at risk from rising sea levels.
Who else cares? Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al Thani has come to al-Sisi’s aid, in the form of investment and loans in exchange for oil transit through Egypt to European markets, amongst other collaborations.
Any further comments? For the EU, al-Sisi is a key ally and broker between Israel-Palestine, and new natural gas supplier. This summer tripartite gas deal was signed between the EU, Israel, and Egypt – but liquified natural gas (LNG) infrastructure needs revamping before Egypt can deliver more gas. This new LNG infrastructure can also accommodate Egypt’s green hydrogen strategy.