Minister of Immigration and Expatriate Affairs, Nabila Makram - File Photo
CAIRO – 17 June 2017: For the first time, Egypt is putting a spotlight on the role of Egyptian women abroad, Minister of Immigration and Expatriate Affairs Nabila Makram said Friday. Expat Egyptian women have significant power to reflect Egypt’s image to the international community, Makram said, adding that these women have managed to occupy vital positions in various fields.
The minister referred to the “Egypt Can (Taa Marbouta)” conference, scheduled to be held in Cairo July 2-3 under the auspices of President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi and in cooperation with the National Council for Women (NCW), as an example of efforts to empower Egyptian women.
Makram said a number of female Egyptian experts living abroad will participate in the conference, which comes in conjunction with Sisi’s announcement that 2017 is the ‘year of Egyptian women’ and the national initiative to enable Egyptian women.
The conference comes as part of the “Al Taa Marbouta is your strength” awareness campaign launched by the NCW during the month of Ramadan to support and empower Egyptian women and highlight the importance of women's participation in all economic, political and social sectors. A total of 25 female experts who specialize in scientific, intellectual and academic fields are expected to participate in the conference.
Makram expressed her confidence that the conference will contribute to strengthen the role of female Egyptian expatriates in developing Egypt and to achieve the sustainable development goals of “Egypt Vision 2030.” The minister added that the conference would shed light on the achievements of such women in all fields to form role models for new generations of young men and women.
Officials from several ministries are expected to attend the conference, including higher education and scientific research, social solidarity, justice, international cooperation, investment, health and trade and industry. Moreover, representatives from executive departments will be present at the conference, in addition to the participation of NGOs and associations.
Participating female experts include: Mona Shendi, commander in the Australian Navy Missile Defense; Azza Ali, member of the Australian parliament; Laila Bans, one of the top 100 economic consultants worldwide; and the captain of the French handball team, who has Egyptian origins.
Makram’s statements came during a press conference after a meal organized by the Ministry of Immigration and Expatriate Affairs. During the event, the ministry revealed its plan and efforts to combat illegal immigration.
She explained that the ministry will coordinate with relevant authorities to develop an effective national policy on Egyptian migration, and will prioritize the governorates where illegal migration is widespread.
The minister further explained that the ministry is keen to strengthen the link between Egyptians abroad and their homeland. She added that the ministry seeks to build a database of Egyptians abroad to better serve them and to ensure timely responses to any challenges that face them. She explained that the ministry plans to benefit from Egyptians living abroad and encourages them to invest in Egypt.
Sisi named Ambassador Nabila Makram as head of the Ministry of Immigration and Expatriate Affairs in September 2015. This ministry had been shuttered decades ago, and until Makram’s appointment, immigration affairs were under the purview of the Ministry of Manpower.