Minister of International Cooperation H.E. Dr. Rania A. Al-Mashat chaired the Egypt Network for Integrated Development (ENID) Board of Directors meeting on April 19, to evaluate the progress of the program and establish a way forward for the project’s Phase III - 2022-2026.
Attended by about 50 stakeholders including IFIs, private sector and development partners, the meeting revolved around the progress report presented by the project’s expert member on the Board of Trustees Dr. Heba Handoussa, a Professor and the Managing Director of ENID, titled “Key Achievements, Proposed Way Forward and New Orientations”. Among the speakers in the event, there was the Resident Representative of UNDP Egypt, Ms. Randa Aboul-Hosn; and the Director of Sustainability & Marketing at Qalaa Holdings, Ms. Ghada Hammouda.
Funded by financial donors, and bilateral and multilateral development partners, the ENID project began in 2012 in partnership with the Ministry of International Cooperation as the national implementing partner, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The vision of ENID goes hand in hand with the Ministry of International Cooperation’s doctrine, as it is aligned with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Egypt’s 2030 Vision by centering its work on the socioeconomic empowerment of vulnerable groups in rural areas and Upper Egypt. The ENID project works on supporting women and youth, creating job opportunities, catalyzing agricultural and industrial development, and enhancing the basic services for the people, such as health and education.
As ENID mainly operates in the Qena governorate through area-based integrated development, Handoussa explained that while back in 2011 Qena was the 2nd poorest governorate in Egypt with 58% of its population below the poverty line, in 2019/ 2020 Qena has improved to rank as 8th.
“With vision, patience, perseverance and cooperation, plenty is and can be achieved,” said Al-Mashat. The Minister expressed that this meeting brought together the private sector, development partners, and other stakeholders, on the same table; as per the Ministry’s Economic Diplomacy. The philosophy under which the Ministry operates, the Economic Diplomacy, lists 3 key principles that help align the development efforts in Egypt with the national and global sustainability targets. The first principle instills the importance of the Multi-Stakeholder Platforms in streamlining the sustainable framework among the different parties involved.
The main objective of the Multi-Stakeholder platforms is to strengthen partnerships for achieving value-centric results through regular interactive and participatory consultations with all development partners. It also ensures the harmony and complementarity of development collaboration to maximize impact and achieve sustainability. The ENID Board Of Directors meeting has presented the key learning and achievements of the project, in order to help mitigate the challenges in its 3rd phase and to replicate its efficient and effective model across several governorates in Egypt.
The Resident Representative of UNDP Egypt, Ms. Randa Aboul-Hosn applauded the efforts made by ENID over the past years in developing Upper Egypt. Aboul-Hosn thanked the partners who contributed to providing funding for the projects. She also added that the projects are part of the efforts made by the UNDP in supporting progress towards the SDGs through partnerships with the Ministry of International Cooperation and relevant entities.
As ENID looks into the development of Upper Egypt, the project covers various SDGs. The program focuses on enhancing the livelihood of the people by advancing their basic services and developing their economic ecosystem; through the introduction of technology, and the push towards gender equality. Handoussa explained that ENID covers 51 indicators of the first 9 SDGs; SDG 1: No Poverty, SDG 2: Zero Hunger, SDG 3: Good Health and Well-being, SDG 4: Quality Education, SDG 5: Gender Equality, SDG 6: Clean Water and Sanitation, SDG 7: Affordable and Clean Energy. SDG 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth, SDG 9: Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure.
ENID comprises 4 main development areas and programs: Upgrading Basic Services, Promoting MSMEs & Entrepreneurship, Sustainable Agricultural Development Program (SADP), and Knowledge Dissemination and Knowledge Hub. For the past decade and through these 4 intervention fields, ENID has supported 21,204 direct beneficiaries and created over 4,000 jobs; in collaboration with 11 ministries, 4 Governorates, and over 70 local CDAs/NGOs in Upper Egypt.
Al-Mashat stated that this project is in-line with the President of Egypt H.E. President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi’s “Decent Life” initiative that aims to provide better living conditions and services for the most vulnerable communities in Egypt. The initiative’s main objective is to enhance the quality of life through improving daily public services and developing vulnerable communities.
Hammering on the importance of the collaborative force of change in Egypt and globally in order to progress towards the development targets, Al-Mashat explained that, “The private sector involvement in the development framework is crucial because today, development financing relies on the blended finance structures in order to achieve substantial results in the Development Agenda. All stakeholders, be it the private sector, the government, and the development partners must work together, closely towards the 2030 targets.”
Handoussa shared that all stakeholders should cooperate in the next months to build on the project’s success and spread its learnings. She added that ENID’s Way Forward Phase III (2022-2026) focuses on sustainability, the improvement of business stability and integration in the market system, the integration of private sector-led approaches through increased investment, the financial and technical support to local entrepreneurs, and the digitalization of ENID’s activities and interventions. Handoussa suggested the replication of ENID, so it would act as a ‘knowledge-hub’ for neighboring intervention programs in order to achieve a higher impact.
Menghestab Haile, the Country Director and Representative of the World Food Programme (WFP) Egypt, commented saying that the opportunities of capitalizing on the successful ENID model are unique, and that such a platform is necessary to open new means of collaboration and partnerships on several development projects.