The Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise Development Agency (MSMEDA) has signed contracts with four NGOs in Assiut and Sharqeya governorates that will provide Egyptian youth with environmental and health awareness.
The signing of the contracts, which are expected to generate over 70,000 daily employment opportunities, was witnessed by Nevine Gamea, Minister of Trade and Industry and Executive Director of MSMEDA.
Ibrahim El Afia, Ministerial Counsellor and Head of the EU’s Cooperation sector in Egypt, together with MSMEDA Deputy Director General Engineer Tarek Shash, also attended the contract signing ceremony.
The minister added that these contracts will officially kick-start the agreement’s different components, with great emphasis placed on the community services component. This component has earmarked a total of EGP 140m with which to carry out 37 health projects, 36 environmental projects, 32 projects providing kindergarten services, and 25 others on illiteracy eradication.
Gamea also said that these projects would altogether create 2.6 million daily jobs for youth between the ages of 18 and 29. A further 1.2 million inhabitants would benefit from the health or environmental care services that will be provided.
She stressed that the Agreement activities are in harmony with the Ministry of State for Migration and Egyptian Affairs Abroad. The latter ministry has organised about 800 seminars targeting 16,000 citizens, aimed at raising awareness on the risks of irregular migration and the alternative job opportunities available. Gamea said the contracts fall under the Agreement of Addressing the Root Causes of Irregular Migration through Employability and Labor-Intensive Works.
The agreement has been implemented by MSMEDA, with the EU providing €27m in funding across 11 governorates, namely: Luxor; Assiut; Minya; Fayoum; Qaliubiya; Menoufiya; Gharbeya; Sharqeya; Beheira; Daqahleya; and Kafr El-Sheikh. The minister added that this agreement aims to provide new alternatives to Egypt’s youth who are resident in migration-prone governorates. This would take place through the introduction of labour-intensive community and infrastructure projects, and other training programmes. Such training opportunities would enable them to acquire new labour market skills, or establish income-generating micro and small enterprises.
The minister also said that jobs will be generated aimed at casual and semi-skilled labour, especially in the field of infrastructure development projects.Medhat Massoud, Head of MSMEDA’s Human and Community Development Central Sector, said that the agreement is comprised of three major components that generate daily jobs for youth.
The first component will see youth employed in infrastructure projects through hiring semi-skilled and unskilled labour instead of machines and equipment. The second relates to youth employment in health, environmental awareness, illiteracy eradication and establishing kindergartens.
The third component depends on youth training on a variety of handicrafts to qualify them for self-employment. This would take place via the establishment of micro or small enterprises, or will see them develop their skills according to labour market requirements.