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New Egyptian Danida Alumni Network to collaborate on the green agenda

The Danish Ambassador to Egypt, Mr Svend Olling, and First Undersecretary in the Egyptian Ministry of Electricity and Renewable Energy, Dr Ahmed Meheina opened the event on 13 October 2022.  Danida Fellowship Centre’s Ea Elsbøl moderated the event.

More than 100 Danida fellows were present when the Danish embassy in Cairo hosted an engagement day on 13 October 2022 about the importance of capacity building for the green transition, and together with the Danida Fellowship Centre launched a new local Egyptian Danida Alumni Network. This new local network will serve as a platform for continued capacity building and pave the way for transforming knowledge into action especially in the energy sector.

The global climate crisis affects us all, and the green transition is therefore increasingly urgent. Since 2019, through the Strategic Sector Cooperation programme, the Danish government has been sharing experiences and collaborating with the Egyptian government in the field of renewable energy. An important part of this collaboration is that almost 200 Egyptian officials have been in Denmark to participate in the Danida Fellowship Centre’s capacity-building programmes on green transition. The majority of the participants have come from the Egyptian Ministry of Electricity, but employees from other ministries working on green transition have also benefited from this programme.

How to continue the learning experience
Capacity building plays a crucial role in transferring knowledge, know-how and solutions between Denmark and Egypt. In order to reap the benefits of the capacity building so far and to pave the way for it to continue and develop even further, the Danish embassy in Cairo invited Danida fellows and stakeholders in the climate sector to an engagement day on green transition through capacity building. The purpose of the event was to share perspectives on the importance of capacity building and to discuss how Danida fellows could continue their learning journeys after completing learning programmes in Denmark.

During the event, it became clear that although capacity building is essential,  multi-stakeholder collaboration and knowledge sharing also play a crucial role in ensuring that knowledge is transformed into action. As Dr Sherifa Sherif, Executive Director of the National Institute for Governance and Sustainable Development, Egypt said,

Technology can only take us so far in finding renewable energy solutions. In addition, it takes skills and abilities to collaborate and communicate.

Capacity development is at the heart of Danida Fellowship Centre’s programmes
The Danida Fellows Network programme was launched in August 2022 with the aim of facilitating multi-stakeholder collaboration, networks and communities where knowledge, experience and expertise can be shared, thereby continuing the learning journey of Danida fellows. The Engagement Day was therefore an excellent opportunity to establish an Egyptian network. Danida Fellowship Centre and the fellows will jointly work towards establishing a network that focusses on energy. The network will consist of Danida fellows, relevant researchers, the Danish embassy and other interested stakeholders within the energy field.

While capacity building is at the heart of this programme, the fact that it brings people together across nationalities and cultures is also rewarding on a number of levels. It opens up for new ways of thinking and working together and this is, in my opinion,  one of the most important things that the Danida Fellowship Centre programmes facilitate, said Kamil Kuninski, Energy Counsellor at the Danish embassy in Egypt.

A golden opportunity for knowledge exchange
Every step is a step in the right direction. In time, the plan is to expand the network to the global level by inviting other countries with Strategic Sector Cooperation programmes in energy to join.

As Ms Amira Hosam, Associate Minister for Sustainable Development Affairs, Ministry of Planning, commented,

I believe a network in Egypt is a golden opportunity for the exchange of experiences and knowledge and it can take us very far. We are a small world and we face the same challenges. By collaborating with our Egyptian and Danish counterparts, we can take this agenda very far.

And Mr Abdelwahab Qamar Abdelwahab Qamar, from the Egyptian Ministry of Electricity and Renewable Energy and the new coordinator for the Egyptian Alumni Energy Network said,

I expect a lot from this network with its focus on energy as a theme. We all hold tremendous amounts of knowledge, and we are happy to have a space where we can share knowledge not only in Egypt but also internationally.

A national Danida Alumni Network is an opportunity for Danida fellows to keep in touch, form new partnerships, share knowledge, learn from each other and collaborate around new solutions in their sector or country. Read more about the opportunities here.

For more information about Danida Fellowship Centre, sign up for our newletter here and get news about our learning programmes, Danida supported research and the Danida Fellows Network.  

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