AfDB Supports Egypt’s MSMEs

30/05/2013
Share |

The African Development Bank and the Government of Egypt on 29 May in Marrakech, Morocco, signed a US$2-million grant to help the country develop an enabling environment for micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs).

The project, financed by the grant goes to the heart of one of the most important challenges facing Egypt, the urgent need to create jobs and inclusive growth.

“While the grant amount in question may be small, relative to the financial needs currently confronting Egypt, it carries significant symbolic importance to the African Development Bank,” African Development Bank Vice President Zondo Sakala said. 

Sakala also emphasized that “this is only a token gesture of the Bank’s firm commitment to support Egypt, its government and population towards a prosperous and more inclusive society, where economic growth benefits many and creates meaningful jobs and lives for the young and the poor.”

The Egyptian Planning and International Cooperation Minister, Amr Darrag, expressed his country’s profound gratitude to the Bank for its constant contributions to creating fertile ground for the socioeconomic wellbeing of Egyptians.  “The African Development Bank is our first development partner with high impact projects for our people,” Darrag said, adding that the grant would contribute to solving the challenge of youth employment.

Echoing the minister, Hanna El Hilaly, Director General in charge of social funds in the Planning and international cooperation Group in Egypt, said the AfDB has for years funded projects in the country, including those in education, the water sector, agricultural finance, and access to microfinance, among others. “We value the African Development Bank and the impact of its projects on Egyptians,” she said.

Concluding his remarks, Vice President Sakala observed that the direct beneficiaries of the grant will be the owners and workers in organic cluster MSMEs, while the indirect beneficiaries will include the entire population. The outcome of the grant project will also feed into the larger policy framework for the MSME which is being developed.