The Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises Development Agency (MSMEDA) has signed EGP 228m-worth of contracts with 11 governorates, to implement projects to develop infrastructure and communities.
These governorates include Luxor, Assiut, Minya, Fayoum, Qalyubia, Menoufiya, Gharbeya, Sharqeya, Beheira, Daqahleya, and Kafr El-Sheikh.
The funding comes as part of the agreement’s activities, which the agency has implemented with funding from the European Union (EU), to address the root causes of irregular migration.
Nevine Gamea, Minister of Trade and Industry and MSMEDA’s CEO, said that the agency is keen to contribute to the tangible efforts made by the Ministry of Expatriate Affairs, to achieve integration between the activities of the two sides.
Gamea added that the agency is cooperating with various state agencies to develop regions that suffer from irregular migration. This aims, on the one hand, to improve the living conditions of citizens in these areas, and to create an appropriate environment for the establishment of small and micro enterprises on the other.
The cooperation also looks to encourage young people to establish these types of projects, whilst also providing intensive job opportunities for irregular and moderately skilled workers.
She added that young people looking for work in these areas will receive development and training in handicrafts and skills, to enable them to obtain employment opportunities that suit their skills. They will also have the opportunity establish small projects of their own.
The minister indicated that these projects will provide over 335,000 daily work opportunities during their implementation, in addition to job opportunities for management and maintenance.
Tarek Shash, MSMEDA’s Executive Vice President, said that these contracts include a range of projects to improve community facilities. This covers: extending, replacing and renewing 108 km of drinking water networks; developing about 3.4 km of sewage slope lines; paving 37 km of rural roads; restoring and providing maintenance for public buildings, including 56 schools and nine veterinary services units, 20 health units and 24 youth centres; in addition to lining 12.88 km of small canals to conserve irrigation water.
Shash said that these projects are being implemented in cooperation with the governorates and relevant ministries, also making use of the skills and facilities of small local contractors and experienced NGOs.
MSMEDA and the EU signed an agreement on “Addressing the Roots of the Irregular Migration Phenomenon”, which will see Egypt receive a grant of €27m. The agreement comes on the back of a study conducted by the National and Coordination Committee to Combat Illegal Immigration and Human Trafficking.
This agreement is a continuation of the close cooperation between MSMEDA and the EU, with the latter considered one of the most supportive of MSMEDA’s activities. This is particularly in the field of infrastructure projects and labour-intensive community development, as one of the mechanisms used to reduce unemployment rates for informal workers.