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CAIRO - 30 April 2018: Investment and International Cooperation Minister Sahar Nasr and Director-General of the International Labor Organization (ILO)'s Office in Cairo Peter Van Rooi signed on Monday a cooperation protocol worth dlrs 3.7 million.
The Norwegian government allocated 30 million Norwegian kroner (equivalent to 3.7 million dollars) to finance the three-year project.
Speaking on the occasion, Nasr said the project aims at shoring up the private sector investments, particularly in rural areas in Egypt, via enhancing its role in promoting employment creation and consolidating value chain development in selected sectors.
She added the cooperation protocol falls within the Investment Ministry's efforts to improve the investment climate and promote the private sector's role, especially in entrepreneurship and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to achieve sustainable economic development.
She explained the project has a two-pronged strategy, the first related to institutional development and the second related to direct technical support.
The project will create 200 decent jobs for youth and help unlock the potential of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to achieve decent and productive employment, Nasr added.
For his part, the director of the ILO's office in Cairo said the project falls within the framework of the Employment for Youth in Egypt (EYE) program that was adopted by the Investment Ministry in September 2017.
According to the ILO website, the overall development objective of the Employment for Youth in Egypt (EYE) project is to contribute to increased productive employment, business creation and decent work opportunities for young women and men.
Youth aged 18-29 make up 19 million people in Egypt, one-quarter of the country’s population.
The lack of decent work is preventing the next generation of Egyptians from gaining the skills, experience and income necessary for the further economic, social and political development of their country, an ILO report on Egypt says.
Entrepreneurship should represent an option for many more young people in Egypt.
According to the ILO, about 50% of young Egyptians recognize entrepreneurship as a worthy career option. However, the international organisation says, very few young persons do start a business, in addition to the fact that the financial market has a missing middle, where the start-up of small and medium-sized projects is poorly served.
This project proposes an ambitious multidimensional and integrated approach to stimulating youth employment and entrepreneurship.