The ministry of planning, follow-up and administrative reform and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) held a 5-day workshop on International Futures from 17 to 24 April 2019. Mr. David Bohl, Senior Researcher, Pardee Center for International Futures, University of Denver spoke at the workshop. The workshop discussed using the International Futures model which will promote future planning and will forecast Egypt's future development paths.
In his word, Dr. Ahmed Kamali, Deputy Minister of Planning, Follow-up and Administrative Reform for Planning Affairs, pointed out that the workshop is one of the ways to accelerate the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which comes with the participation of many governmental and non-governmental institutions. Moreover, he added that the implementation of the 2030 agenda is the responsibility of both the government and the whole society. The workshop focused on a number of scenarios that could have an impact on the Egyptian economy and the achievement of the SDGs.
The Deputy Minister added that very few countries may achieve the SDGs, stressing the importance of awareness and vision to achieve the most important goals. This is not only the role of the government, but the role of academics, civil society and the private sector as well.
Furthermore, Dr. Kamali added that the report with the Pardee Center for International Futures has four main scenarios that are consistent with the goals of Egypt 2030 as the national version of the SDGs. He pointed out that the four scenarios were represented in the economic development scenario, which shows economic growth in line with traditional strategies to increase trade and investment as well as efforts to increase productivity. The second scenario on social justice, which simulates a set of policies designed to mitigate poverty, improve living conditions build people’s capacity through focusing on health and education. The third scenario is the women empowerment scenario, which focuses on gender equality, and on the fourth scenario, Kamali explained that it is on governance, which focuses on improving the effectiveness, efficiency and transparency of the government. Kamali added that there is a fifth scenario combining the four main scenarios where it allows clarification of the benefits of the comprehensive development programme, which seeks to target different development trends at the same time.
Dr. Ahmed Kamali also stressed the importance of having a constantly updated database to determine accurate forecasts, adding that the model discussed is not only focused on Egypt but also a global system for 186 countries.
For his side, Mr. Sylvan Merlen, UNDP Deputy Resident Representative, stressed Egypt's leading role in development at the global level. Moreover, he confirmed the significance of the partnership with the Ministry of Planning and the workshop that is being held this week. This is what this week’s workshop is for: leading Egyptian institutions using long term forecasting with a whole-of-society, whole-of-economy model, to compare different policy options at the horizon 2030.
The International Futures model is a free, open-source tool for thinking about the long-term future. The platform allows its users to understand the dynamics of global systems and to systematically reflect on potential trends and development goals and objectives.
The workshop was attended by a number of key institutions and representatives of a number of government institutions including the National Planning Institute, the National Institute of Administration, the Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics, the Ministries of Finance and Irrigation, the National Council for Women and the Central Bank of Egypt.