Saudi Arabia Grants Egypt EGP 100m to Support Digitization, Local Craftsmanship

Egypt’s Minister of International Cooperation Rania Al-Mashat announced on Saturday that the Saudi Grant Management Committee provided a grant worth EGP 100 million to the Bank of Alexandria to support the digitization of small and medium enterprises and back local Egyptian artisans and craftsmen.

This came during the committee’s 26th meeting that took place recently, chaired by Mrs. Ghadeer Hegazy, Assistant Minister of International Cooperation, and Hasan Al-Attas; the director-general of operation at the Saudi Fund for Development; as well as representatives of Bank of Alexandria.

Moreover; the grant comes under the Ministry of International Cooperation’s Global Partnerships Narrative which is defined by the triple Ps: people at the core, projects in action; and purpose as the driver.

Grant’s objectives

Under people at the core, Al-Mashat asserted that the grant aims to revive local artisanship and reinvigorate the new artisan economy; which has become increasingly important in the face of high global demand for high-quality; artisanal products that are also produced sustainably.

The grant also aims to strengthen the financing mechanisms for small, medium, and micro-enterprises; as they are the main engines for job creation and taps on the talent and potential of Egypt youth.

During the meeting; representatives of the Bank of Alexandria made a presentation on the financing programs that the bank targets; which includes 26 governorates, including Cairo, Alexandria, and governorates in Upper Egypt through fixed assets financing and working capital.

The bank estimates that there will be around 1,475 beneficiaries, including 30% for women-owned enterprises; and 45% for enterprises owned by people under the age of 35 to promote an inclusive economy.

Under projects in action, Al-Mashat praised the fruitful cooperation between Egypt and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, which also has resulted in several development cooperation programs; including grants for small and medium enterprises; development projects for the Sinai Peninsula, and other programs that reflect positively on Egypt’s development.

It is worth noting that the Saudi Arabia Grant Management Committee has funded 2,180 projects so far in 27 governorates; which have contributed to the creation of about 12,000 job opportunities under the $200 million grant was signed in 2016.