The headquarters of the African Development Bank (AfDB) are pictured in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, September 16, 2016. - Reuters
CAIRO – 21 February 2019: Egypt and the African Development BankGroup (AfDB) signed a grant worth LE 80 million to develop entrepreneurship.
The grant was signed by Minister of Investment Sahar Nasr and AfDB’s country Manager of Egypt Malinne Blomberg, in the presence of Minister of Higher Education Khaled Abdel Ghaffar.
Minister of Investment Nasr clarified in a statement that the grant included supporting empowering entrepreneurs who have creative ideas of researches especially from youth and women in three fields which are agriculture, renewable energy and creative industries including handicrafts.
Activities of the grant also include providing a national support platform for entrepreneurs and boosting connections with regional platforms through network connections, promotions and events and developing the ability to attend Arabic training sessions related to entrepreneurship and start-ups online.
Nasr clarified that supporting start-ups is the ministry’s main and essential role to achieve economic development, provide job opportunities and support young investors.
She elaborated that the grant will offer around five incubators for start-ups focusing on the governorates of Upper Egypt, New Valley and Great Cairo. “These programs will cover training on entrepreneurship and priority sectors with grants that amount to $3,000 for each workshop to satisfy early development needs.”
The minister added that the grant will provide seven programs to accelerate training for beginners, referring that this grant will provide more than 5500 direct and indirect jobs and will establish 480 start-ups.
According to the minister, the state and AfDB's joint strategy comes within the framework of implementing the initiative announced by President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi during the African Union Forum to support entrepreneurship and coincides with Sisi's presidency of the African Union during 2019.
Minister of Higher Education Abdel Ghaffar pointed out that this grant is an evidence of the cooperation with AfDB, noting that this grant is related to the state’s strategy to support youth and women in universities and in Upper Egypt and the New Valley, where 50 percent of the grant will be dedicated to them.
The grant will be executed through the Academy of Scientific Research and Technology, connecting it to the AfDB, Abdel Ghaffar added.
For her part, Blomberg said that the bank’s priority is to support Egypt in the field of entrepreneurship, noting that this grant is built on the current success in Egypt and gives priority to Upper Egypt and the neediest areas, targeting 50 percent of women.
She added that the grant is based on clear energy and creativity, emphasizing the bank's keenness on providing full support to Egypt during the next period of Sisi’s presidency of the African Union.