Assiut Governor Yasser Al-Dessouki met with representatives from the Ministry of Local Development to discuss the Upper Egypt Economic Summit, which is to take place next September.
A number of investment opportunities in the area of Upper Egypt will be presented at the summit, according to state run television. It also reported that Al-Dessouki indicated a ministry delegation visited Assiut to coordinate efforts regarding preparations for the conference. The ministry visit was also to discuss the main projects that Assiut will be showcasing to attract the largest in foreign and local investments.
In late June 2015, Al-Borsa newspaper reported that Assiut will showcase a project with an initial cost of $175m, a project to establish a port along the Red Sea coast to receive coal and dry goods.
Other Upper Egyptian governorates will participate in the conference, with Sohag preparing to present 26 projects in tourism, renewable energy and industries with high consumption levels. Al-Minya will also put on the table investment opportunities that exceed EGP 1bn. The Red Sea governorate will also put 30 projects under the spotlight at the summit, Al-Borsa indicated.
Upper Egypt’s governorates are the poorest in the country. In April 2015, the Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS) indicated that approximately 9.2 million children aged between 0-17 years old are living in poverty. Of this figure, 53% of these children are living in Upper Egypt.
CAPMAS also revealed in 2013 that Egypt’s poverty rate reached 26% of Egyptian families, and that 60% of Assiut residents live below the poverty line.
Meanwhile, CAPMAS Chairman Abu Bakr Elgendy previously declared that in 2013, poverty rates in Upper Egypt reached over 45% as a result of the deterioration in the area’s circumstances.
The Egyptian government and international companies have been tackling Upper Egypt’s problems for development purposes. Tangible results, however, have not been seen, due to the complexity of the situation.
The Golden Triangle project, the second largest developmental project run by the Egyptian government, is to be established. It is said that it will develop Upper Egypt through constructing an industrial, agricultural, touristic, and commercial zone. The proposed time frame for project construction is two years.
The project seeks to establish a new industrial capital city through constructing a global, touristic, mining, economic, commercial, and industrial centre. It will also create a logistics and economic centre northwest of Safaga, which will operate mining activities to make use of the Eastern Desert’s Golden Triangle. This area extends from Edfu south of Qena in the Nile Valley, to Marsa Alam on the Red Sea coast, and Safaga in the north.
Concerning the presence of international companies in the area, investment bank EFG-Hermes Financial declared in August 2014 that it will allocate EGP 50m for its sub-organisation Hermes Foundation for Social Development. This will be used to pursue development projects in several villages in Upper Egypt beginning in early 2015, according to the bank’s timetable for implementation. The project aims to provide services to 30,000 citizens.