Egypt signed an agreement with the United National Development Programme (UNDP) to establish the first investment fund for social development projects on Wednesday, according to the Minister of Investment and International Cooperation, Sahar Nasr.
The fund will be jointly financed by Misr Company for Entrepreneurship and the UNDP, said Nasr. She added that the first activities of the fund would be to support startup projects and to encourage investments that contribute to the achievement of development goals in areas such as poverty reduction, employment creation, and renewable energy.
The agreement will spur the growth of emerging companies through the creation of market incentives to allow competition. The fund also aims to increase support for the private sector to participate in the development, explaining that this fund, linking development with social and environmental investments and employment opportunities, will provide better services to the citizen at a lower cost, she added.
The minister stressed, she will work through her membership in the advisory board of the United Nations’ Social Impact Fund to support the achievement of the goals of sustainable development in Egypt and partnerships with various organisations of the United Nations in order to to contribute to the attraction of investments.
According to the minister, the United Nations is the umbrella, under which all developing partners work, and this gives the floor to Egypt for different funding to support the development investment fund during the coming period.
“We are ready to facilitate funding harmonised with the goals of sustainable development, and the development investment fund is the first initiative of its kind in the Middle East and Africa, which makes Egypt a pioneer in the field of sustainable and innovative financing for development,” said Randa Aboul-Hosn, director of the UNDP Egypt.
On the other hand, the United Nations Social Impact Fund chief, David Galipeau, said, “this fund aims to support entrepreneurship and small and medium sized projects in Egypt.” He explained that he will support the small investor in a number of areas such as education and social housing.