Investing for Employment (IFE) held a media roundtable to further elaborate its goals and role in supporting the economy in several African countries and creating new job opportunities for growth prospects. IFE is an investment facility founded by KFW Development Bank on behalf of the German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).
Earlier in November, IFE launched a Call for Proposals in 8 countries including Egypt, Ethiopia, Cote D’Ivoire, Ghana, Rwanda, Senegal, Tunisia, and Morocco inviting companies as well as public entities to submit project proposals that contribute to sustainable job creation in the private sector. The launch of this initiative stems from a thorough understanding of the various challenges and barriers investors can face in addition to a strong belief in the potential of the African countries and their economic development.
During the roundtable discussion, Managing Director of Investing for Employment, Rauf Khalaf, discussed the goals and objectives behind this initiative “We are not only here to create new job opportunities but we also dedicate our efforts to improving work conditions and broaden new investment opportunities.”
Through this initiative, IFE aims to achieve 6 goals:
• Promoting investment projects in Africa and providing a supporting strategy for emerging markets.
• Creating job opportunities in partner countries.
• Improving the quality of work conditions and providing training in partner countries.
• Increasing private investments and overcoming challenges and barriers.
• Supporting SMEs
• Focusing on German, European, or local companies aiming to invest but facing challenges.
“We are keen to encourage joint ventures between local and international companies to help exchange experiences” added Rauf Khalaf
In order to reach its objectives, IFE awards co-financing grants ranging between 1 – 10 million Euros per project depending on the type of the project. The application will undergo a thorough study for project evaluation. In the selection process, high priority will be given to projects which are fully strategized, planned, and ready for execution, and the co-financing awards will be granted to projects that rank the best in terms of operational viability, financial sustainability, and promising job opportunities creation. Worth mentioning that grants will only be given to unbankable projects that have exhausted all attempts of loan eligibility or financing opportunities.
In terms of eligibility, the applicants of investment projects should fall under the below criteria:
1. Not-for-profit Projects with job creation impact (no revenues): The Facility covers up to 90 % of the investment costs.
2. Not-for-profit Projects with job creation impact (generating revenues): The Facility covers up to 75 % of the investment costs.
3. For-profit Projects with broader job creation impact: The Facility covers up to 35 % of the investment costs.
4. For-profit Projects with job creation impact: The Facility covers up to 25 % of the investment costs.
All private companies across all sectors and regions within the partner companies can apply for funding. Applicants can apply individually, or as a consortium, and in such case, at least one entity must be registered in the partner country.
As stated by Karim Gad, Country Focal Point of Investing for Employment – Egypt, “IFE received an average of 100 applications from Egypt last year with total project investment worth of EGP 25 billion. In the shortlisting process, an average of 20% of the applications with an investment worth EGP 3 Billion were selected for studying and assessment. These proposed projects will create 16,000 job opportunities within the first three operational years alone. Additionally, projects of training will help contribute to preparing and training 21,000 trainees.”
IFE launched this regional Call for Proposals on the 21st of November, 2022. Applications can be submitted until the 22nd of December, 2022. In addition to this regional call, IFE has also launched a thematic Call for Proposals on “Women in Business in Egypt to support women entrepreneurs and businesses owned and led by women to support and promote women's employment. Applications under this thematic call can be submitted until the 22nd of December, 2022.