Executive Director of the Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprise Development Agency (MSMEDA) Nevine Gamea stressed the MSMEDA’s keenness on implementing the state’s plans to develop the unplanned areas of Egypt with local and international partners.
Gamea added that the aim is to improve the quality of public services for citizens and creating an enabling environment favourable to the establishment of start-up enterprises and expanding existing ones.
Her statements came on the side-line of the inauguration of the Nasiriya Market in Ameriya District by Alexandria’s Governor Mohamed Taher Al-Sherief and a delegation representing the EU, the European Investment Bank (EIB), and the MSMEDA.
The delegation visited community infrastructure projects in the district and the Nasiriya Market, including new pavements and the restoration of sewage networks.
The event was attended by Head of the EU Delegation to Egypt Christian Berger, the MSMEDA’s Deputy Executive Director Tarek Shash, and Head of the Human and Community Development Central Sector at the MSMEDA Walid Darwish.
Shash said this visit falls within the context of continued cooperation with the EU — a major international partner contributing to the finance of numerous development agreements and programmes the MSMEDA implements — and the EIB, which is a main partner to the MSMEDA as well in launching community development projects.
“Under the Community Development Programme Agreement funded by the EU, community infrastructure projects are executed in Alexandria, Port Said, Giza, Assiut, Menoufiya, and Sharqeya. Launching these projects is based on coordination with ministries and governorates engaging to meet the actual requirements of citizens and enabling them to embark on their private enterprises by providing them with basic services, like potable water, adequate sewerage, and road pavement,” Gamea said.
“These projects are launched according to the labour-intensive method that allows for the creation of employment opportunities for casual workers in these areas,” she added.
Furthermore, Shash explained that the Nasiriya Market was established after holding community meetings with people living nearby and assessing their needs, which have altogether confirmed the necessity of establishing the market in this area to save them the hassle of going long distances to cater to their needs.
Gamea also said that this project has created more than 12,000 temporary jobs for the targeted inhabitants and has similarly led to the development of existing commercial enterprises in the area.
For his part, Al-Sherief praised the on-going cooperation with the MSMEDA on implementing these international agreements, resulting in the generation of thousands of temporary jobs for casual labourers and the provision of basic services for the neediest areas.
He added that all the community infrastructure projects that have been implemented have led to an improvement in the quality of life for the targeted inhabitants, pointing out that development works have taken place through coordination between the governorate and the MSMEDA to accelerate the governmental orientation towards upgrading unplanned areas.
Meanwhile, Berger lauded the MSMEDA’s role in monitoring and supervising the implementation of the community infrastructure projects established in Alexandria.
“On-going EU-MSMEDA cooperation urges us to bolster up our joint efforts and contributions to launch more development projects in Egypt,” he said.
The delegation inaugurated the Nasiriya Market, which comprises 100 stores offering different products and services that correspond to the nature of activities residents are lacking. The delegation has also been familiarised with development works in place that covered the upgrading of the sewerage network and the pavement of roads that lead to the market.
The Community Development Programme Agreement is a funded by a €15m grant by the EU under the Investing in the Neighbourhood Facility in addition to a €45m loan presented by the EIB at preferential rates.
The EU grant aims to improve infrastructure and services within local communities and rural areas by hiring local labourers. Meanwhile, the EIB loan provides new credit services for small and micro enterprises in six governorates (Alexandria, Port Said, Giza, Assiut, Menoufiya, and Sharqeya) and infrastructure services to communities in these governorates, including extending potable water and sewage networks, paving roads, along with refurbishing schools, health units, and youth centres.