UNDP Egypt and Microsoft Egypt sign memorandum of understanding to sccelerate sustainable development and digital innovation across Egypt

H.E. Dr.Rania Al-Mashat, Minister of International Cooperation: The Memorandum of Understanding reflects the partnership between development partners and the private sector to enhance innovation and achieve a more inclusive future

October 2, 2023

CAIRO, EGYPT: The United Nations Development Programme(UNDP) Egypt and Microsoft today signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to strengthen their collaboration in advancing sustainable development and fostering digital innovation in Egypt.

The MoU was signed by UNDP Egypt Resident Representative Alessandro Fracassetti and Mirna Arif, General Manager at Microsoft Egypt, in the presence of senior officials from both sides. It sets the framework for a strategic partnership, aiming to leverage respective expertise and resources to achieve shared goals in the fields of environmental sustainability, climate change, tourism, agri-tech, food security, digital transformation, and digital skilling.

Under the agreement, UNDP and Microsoft will collaborate to promote digital skilling and upskilling for future jobs and employability, with a specific focus on empowering women and girls, fostering sustainability, and driving SDG impact within UNDP, Microsoft, and other stakeholders. UNDP and Microsoft will also work together to develop an effective early warning system that can mitigate the impacts of climate change and extreme weather events in Egypt and promote sustainable tourism.

By introducing joint solutions and sustainability perspectives to stakeholders and government counterparts, adopting a portfolio approach, the partnership aims to leverage technology and innovation to enhance Egypt's tourism sector's sustainability and resilience while promoting responsible tourism practices.

The agreement also highlights the advancement of Agri-tech and the transformation of the food system. UNDP and Microsoft will collaborate on developing and implementing Agri-tech solutions that address food security challenges and promote sustainable agriculture practices in Egypt. And by sharing expertise and best practices to support the digital transformation of the public sector, improve service delivery, and enhance governance processes, the partnership also aims to advance digital transformation programs in the public sector, including AI integration.

In addition, the MOU emphasizes the establishment of a regular policy dialogue on governing emerging technologies, including AI, to ensure ethical and responsible utilization. UNDP and Microsoft will engage in policy discussions to address the governance challenges posed by emerging technologies, supporting a vibrant and just digital ecosystem in Egypt, and fostering collaboration and knowledge sharing among various stakeholders in the country.

H.E. Dr. Rania Al-Mashat, Minister of International Cooperation, said that the MoU signed between the UNDP and Microsoft, which reflects the partnership and integration between development partners and various entities at the governmental and private levels, enhances innovation to achieve sustainable development, and creates a more comprehensive future through the digital and green transformation. Moreover, H.E. noted that the partnership between the two sides enhances innovation in various fields, by improving digital skills, addressing climate change, sustainable tourism, digital government, supporting innovation and the use of emerging technology, and artificial intelligence. This is also consistent with the Ministry of International Cooperation’s efforts through the NWFE Program, the United Nations Joint Team for Digital Transformation and Innovation (UN-JTDI), and a number of other programs and projects.

At the signature, UNDP Egypt Resident Representative Alessandro Fracassetti said, “We are thrilled to enter this strategic partnership with Microsoft Egypt. This collaboration signifies our joint commitment to harnessing the power of digital innovation and technology for sustainable development in Egypt. By combining our expertise and resources, we aim to empower Egyptian youth, promote gender equality, advance climate resilience, and drive progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals. Together, we will create a more inclusive and prosperous future for all Egyptians."

Samer Abu-Ltaif, Microsoft Corporate Vice President and President of Central & Eastern Europe, Middle East, and Africa said, “We are proud to collaborate with UNDP in advancing the Sustainable Development Goals in Egypt. We aim to establish a regulatory framework that fosters AI innovation while remaining aligned with national priorities and values. Microsoft is committed to supporting Egypt's vision of becoming a thriving hub for sustainable development, innovation, and responsible technology adoption. Through the utilization of technology's potential, we will tackle critical challenges, create new opportunities, and drive positive societal changes within Egypt's rapidly evolving digital landscape.”

From her side, Microsoft Egypt General Manager Mirna Arif said: “We are delighted to strengthen our partnership with UNDP Egypt and further drive digital innovation and transformation across Egypt. In line with the country’s Vision 2030, Microsoft remains committed to supporting sustainable economic development, while empowering the workforce with the latest digital technologies and skills needed to benefit from it.” She added, “Together, we will develop and implement long-term solutions which tackle pressing issues such as climate change, food security, and women empowerment. We also look forward to engaging in policy discussions with our partners at the United Nations Development Programme to enable a vibrant and secure digital future for Egypt."

By combining their respective strengths, UNDP Egypt and Microsoft Egypt will enhance the impact of development interventions in Egypt. This strategic partnership represents a significant step forward in leveraging digital technologies and innovation to address pressing challenges and creating sustainable and inclusive opportunities for the Egyptian people.

 For media inquiries, please contact:

UNDP: Noran Saied, UNDP Communications Coordinator at noran.said@undp.org

Microsoft: Joana Osta, Microsoft Regional Communications Manager at joanaosta@microsoft.com

About UNDP

UNDP is the leading United Nations organization fighting to end the injustice of poverty, inequality, and climate change. Working with our broad network of experts and partners in 170 countries, we help nations to build integrated, lasting solutions for people and planet.

Learn more at undp.org or follow at @UNDP and in Egypt, follow @undpegypt.

About Microsoft

Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT” @microsoft) enables digital transformation for the era of an intelligent cloud and an intelligent edge. Its mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.