Egypt’s Minister of Trade and Industry Nevine Gamea has revealed the details of a joint Egyptian-Sudanese work programme that has been set up to promote youth projects.
The programme was established in coordination between the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency (MSMEDA), of which Gamea is the Executive Director, and the Ministry of Industry and Trade in Sudan.
It commences the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between the two sides, and aims to support the small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) sector, especially handicrafts and heritage enterprises.
It will guarantee that the owners of these enterprises would benefit from actual and tangible services in both countries.
Gamea said that it has been agreed to implement a number of main pathways, including providing the necessary facilities to establish a partnership between micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in the two countries. It is expected that this will lead to an increase in trade exchange, and help owners of these projects market their products more.
The two sides will organise periodic visits to establish the difficulties and obstacles facing these projects, and share experiences between the Egyptian and Sudanese side.
They will also present MSMEDA’s experience in the field of supporting and developing the SMEs sector. This support comes in the form of facilitating procedures for the establishment of SMEs, through one-stop units. It additionally encourages participation in laying down the legislations regulating the SME sector’s work, in a manner that ensures ease of establishment and access to various services.
Gamea added that the work programme also includes the transferral of MSMEDA’s experience to the Sudanese side in implementing specific programmes for developing small enterprises for study. It will also support research into the possibility of implementing them in Sudan.
This includes entrepreneurship programmes that aim to familiarise young people with the know-how to establish these projects, and prepare work plans and feasibility studies.
This comes in addition to reviewing the agency’s experience in implementing the “One Village, One Product” project, which has relied on providing job opportunities using the natural resources available in a local environment. At the same time, the project has also supported villages, and their industrial and productive communities, whilst assisting them in developing and marketing their products.
The cooperation between the two sides includes presenting the agency’s experiences in activating and setting up complaints systems, in addition to serving SME owners or young people wishing to establish projects.
The cooperation involves transferring Egypt’s pioneering experience in the field of converting vehicles from traditional fuels to natural gas, and the economic impacts of this step. This step would encourage financial savings for small business owners, particularly in terms of transportation and distribution of their products.
Gamea said that MSMEDA will work to benefit from the experiences of the Sudanese side in the field of agricultural industrialisation and many handicraft industries.
For his part, Tarek Shash, Deputy Executive Director of MSMEDA, said that his work plan includes focusing on developing the heritage industries sector in both countries. This will take place through exchanging expertise and experiences in the field of developing handicrafts and distinctive craftsmanship.
Moreover, the plan involves relying on establishing and operating heritage incubators to provide the appropriate environment for their growth. Joint exhibitions will also be organised, specialising in distinctive heritage products.
Shash added that this will help project owners expand the marketing of their products, and will help craftsmen become acquainted with different types of handicrafts and their manufacturing methods.
He said that MSMEDA will transfer its expertise to the Sudanese side in the field of mobilising financial resources in cooperation with various international bodies to promote the small enterprises sector.