The Egyptian government is looking to manufacture roughly 30m cloth masks a month to meet the local market demands, according to Minister of Trade and Industry Nevine Gamea.
The minister outlined the target during an expanded meeting with textile and garment industry representatives, held to discuss the measures needed to fulfil local demands for face masks during the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
The government target of 30m masks per month comes in light of its decision to implement a coexistence plan to reignite daily life whilst the coronavirus is still present.
Gamea added that the production process will begin in the coming few days, with 8 million fabric masks manufactured as part of the first phase. These will be supplied to the Authority for Unified Procurement, Medical Supply and Technology Management (AUPP), who in turn will provide them to state agencies.
Gamea noted that local industry now has the opportunity to become a major centre for fabric mask manufacturing, especially in light of the increasing global demand for these types of masks.
She added that the raw materials needed for manufacturing the masks are already available in Egypt. With this on board, local productivity rates can be increased to meet local market needs first, with the possibility for surplus quantities to be exported.
“The Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise Development Agency (MSMEDA) has prepared an inventory of small textile and garment factories that it has given funding to since 2015, which numbered 12,700 small factories,” Gamea said. “The ministry aims to link these factories with large ones as part of the value chains in this industry, which contributes to maximising the benefit from these production capacities and then maintaining existing labour in these factories. Moreover, the MSMEDA is ready to provide necessary funding for these small factories to start production process.”