Egypt’s Minister of Local Development Mahmoud Shaarawy has said that his ministry aims to implement 30,000 small and micro projects during the next five years, with loans estimated at EGP 200m.
The projects will receive the funds through the Ministry’s Local Development Fund, Shaarawy added.
The minister pointed out the importance of these projects in making use of the raw materials available in Egypt, and transforming them into new usable products such as found in the food and crafts industries.
Shaarawy said that the Ministry of Local Development is currently studying methods of reducing the interest rate on loans for breadwinning women in villages where the presidential initiative “Decent Life” is being implemented.
This will see the interest rates reduced to only 4% instead of the previous 6%, with the ministry also studying lending to drip irrigation projects at an interest rate of 5%.
He explained that the presidential “Decent Life” initiative will continue to be implemented to help defaulters in paying small- and micro-sized enterprise loans and those who have loans from the Local Development Fund.
This follows on from the decision to extend the grace period for this until the end of December 2021, to repay the principal of the loan obtained by the defaulting borrower in one payment. This also covers exemption from the loan interest and the delay penalty.
Shaarawy instructed that the field inspection teams should follow up on the implementation of Local Development Fund projects, and the payment situation for all projects within the scope of the governorates that are inspected.
He explained that the fund provides loans to youth and women, particularly creative people, to help implement their projects and ideas.
On the other hand, the Board of Directors at the Local Development Fund held its periodic meeting, headed by the project’s Executive Director Major General Mohamed Al Shabrawi. During the meeting, the projects approved for financing during the period from 9/1/2019 to the end of February 2021 were presented.
Shaarawy said that 5,449 projects in 23 governorates were implemented by the fund during that period with investments, with funds provided exceeding EGP 57.8m. Of this amount, EGP 48m were loans provided by the fund, and EGP 9.8m as a contribution from borrowers. Women implemented 3,740 projects, accounting for 68.6% of the total number.
The minister said that the average cost of a single project out of the total loans amounted to EGP 8,840, and the average cost of one project out of the total investments was EGP 10,610.
Shaarawy added that those wishing to obtain a loan from the Local Development Fund must go to the nearest local unit within the scope of the project. There, they can submit an application for obtaining the loan with a national number card, a copy of the academic qualification, and the army service status for men.