The Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprise Development Agency (MSMEDA) has provided over EGP 2.3bn in funding to infrastructure and community development projects, According to Nevine Gamea, Minister of Trade and Industry and Executive Director of MSMEDA.
This funding was granted during the first six years of President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi’s tenure, particularly in the period from July 2014 to May 2020.
Gamea noted that MSMEDA implemented the projects through international agreements and grants from several donor countries and international institutions.
This has doubled the agency’s funding because of confidence in the national economy’s performance. She noted that there is also confidence in the reform plans and accompanying social protection programmes implemented by Al-Sisi.
Gamea stressed that MSMEDA’s interest in implementing these projects comes in line with state efforts and President Al-Sisi’s directives to develop the infrastructure. These moves have also aimed to provide better living conditions for all citizens, especially in the neediest areas.
She pointed out that developing basic utilities, such as electricity, water and roads, are some of the basic factors that provide the right environment for project growth and expansion. Developments in these areas would also help increase the productivity of existing projects.
Gamea highlighted the importance of MSMEDA’s infrastructure and community development projects in providing job opportunities for daily workers. They also provide training for unskilled workers, providing them with the right qualifications for the labour market.
The minister also pointed out that these projects have provided nearly 30m job opportunities for daily workers across Egypt.
She explained that the agency has implemented these projects through several international agreements, namely, the Urgent Program for Intensive Employment, that received funding of $200m from the World Bank.
This comes in addition to the Urgent Investment Program for Employment with funding of €67.5m from the European Union, and the Labour-Intensive Employment Agreement with funding of EGP 43m from the United Nations Development Program (UNDP).
Further agreements include: the Slum Development Agreement, gained funding of €15m from the Agence Française de Développement (AFD); and an agreement to develop urban areas with €15m in funding from the European Investment Bank (EIB); as well as an agreement with the European Union for funding of €27m to tackle Illegal immigration.
Medhat Masoud, head of the agency’s Central Sector for Community and Human Development, said that these projects have seen 353km of potable water supply lines renovated across Egypt.
This was in addition to the covering of 2,550km of canals and drains, renovation of about 5,000 homes, and the restoration of 642 schools and 335 youth centres. Projects in the healthcare sector and operational training projects have also been implemented across the country.