Supervisor Elham AbolFateh
Editor in Chief Mohamed Wadie

Egypt’s Al Mashat Inspects Development Initiatives and Women’s Empowerment in Aswan

Tue 23 Apr 2024 | 07:19 PM

Egypt's Minister of International Cooperation, Dr. Rania Al-Mashat, conducted a comprehensive visit to the Aswan Governorate to oversee progress on various development projects.

These initiatives, pivotal for local empowerment and economic enhancement, particularly focus on women’s roles in sustaining cultural heritage and boosting the local economy.

Dr. Al-Mashat’s visit highlighted the Women’s Productive Cooperative Society for Handicrafts and Heritage, a project in collaboration with the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise Development Agency (MSMEDA) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). This initiative aims to preserve traditional handicrafts and support female artisans by equipping them with the necessary skills to monetize their crafts. Notables such as Major General Ashraf Attia, Governor of Aswan, Alessandro Fracasetti, UNDP Resident Representative in Egypt, and Basel Rahmi, CEO of MSMEDA, joined the Minister during this inspection.

A key event during her visit was a graduation ceremony where trainees received certificates after completing training programs in graphic design and electronic marketing at the Arab Academy for Science, Technology & Maritime Transport. This ceremony, attended by influential figures like Ambassador Christian Berger, Head of the European Union Delegation in Cairo, and GianPietro Bordignon, Director of the World Food Program Country Office in Egypt, underscored the ongoing efforts to improve livelihoods and reinforce social cohesion.

Moreover, Dr. Al-Mashat reviewed a capacity-building program aimed at enhancing the institutional and human resources of the Ministry of Social Solidarity. This program, supported by the UNDP and the European Union, trains social entrepreneurs in Aswan on the “Awareness for Community Development” program curriculum, reflecting a commitment to holistic community development.

Throughout her visit, Dr. Al-Mashat praised the tangible outcomes of these development initiatives. She highlighted how these programs directly benefit citizens, particularly in Upper Egypt, improving living standards and income through strategic international partnerships. The minister thanked the European Union, the World Food Program, and the UNDP for their contributions and emphasized the government's focus on maximizing the impact of these collaborations.

In addition, Dr. Al-Mashat spoke on the broader project “Enabling the Transition of MSMEDA to Empower Medium, Small and Micro Enterprises and Entrepreneurship,” launched in 2021. This initiative aims to expand MSMEDA’s new services, integrate small business systems, and foster digital transformation to enhance efficiency and resilience.

Dr. Al-Mashat also highlighted the importance of the “Wa’ai” program for community development, which targets families within the Takaful and Karama social protection schemes. The program focuses on critical social issues like child marriage, female genital mutilation, and the economic empowerment of disadvantaged families, steering them from protection to production.

This series of visits and inspections by Dr. Al-Mashat reaffirms Egypt’s dedication to using economic diplomacy to foster international cooperation, drive comprehensive and sustainable development, and reinforce its strategic partnerships with global entities like the United Nations and the European Union.