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France’s Coface favours Egypt to lead Africa’s economic recovery

By David Whitehouse
Posted on Tuesday, 2 March 2021 19:04

Egytpian power cuts have become a thing of the past. A South Cairo Electricity Distribution Company power station is seen near Cairo's Warraq Island, Egypt, November 15, 2018. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh

Egypt is “the most promising” candidate to lead post-Covid economic recovery in Africa, Hassen Bennour, Coface CEO for the Middle East and Southern Africa, tells The Africa Report.

The country benefits from political stability and proximity to Europe, and has carried out the right energy reforms, says Bennour from Dubai. He has also previously been in charge of North Africa for Coface, a French credit insurer.

Five or six years ago, Egyptian businesses were suffering from load shedding, but outages are now a thing of the past due to investments to improve capacity, says Bennour.

Blackouts during the summer of 2014 lasted for up to six hours per day. A rapid series of reforms cut energy subsidies, and Egypt quickly developed the Zohr gas field in the Mediterranean, which was discovered in 2015. The country now has an oversupply of electricity and aims to source 20% of its electricity from renewables by 2022 and 55% by 2050.