The World Bank has injected the first portion worth $125m out of a loan worth $500m allocated for the local development programme in Upper Egypt, said Minister of Investment and International Cooperation Sahar Nasr.
Nasr stressed that this step was part of President Al-Sisi’s instructions to increase the rates of investment and industrial development in Sohag and Qena, as well as focus on the competitive advantages in each governorate with the aim of attracting more local and foreign companies to invest in them, especially with the support provided by the state to develop Upper Egypt to achieve equal distribution of economic resources and improve the living conditions of the citizens living there.
Nasr explained that the programme aims to increase economic growth rates and achieve development that is based on increasing support to the private sector in order to generate more sustainable jobs through improving the business climate and supporting the infrastructure necessary for the growth of different sectors.
She added that the programme also aims to develop a group of industries based on the relative advantages of Upper Egypt governorates, especially in the fields of food and food chains, while maintaining production in other industrial areas in Upper Egypt and offering citizens the necessary infrastructure services, including drinking water, sewage, and roads.
Qena and Sohag were chosen as a starting point for the implementation of the programme, as they were chosen based on a group of standards, which include the population, poverty rates, geographic proximity, and economic capacities, according to Nasr.
She explained that the Upper Egypt development programme will be utilised to inject investments in the most needy areas with the aim of generating jobs, mainly for young people and women, especially with the new incentives provided by the new investment law.
“We are happy to be supporting the government on a wider scale to help areas that need help. The programme will help enhance the competitiveness of these areas in economic, local, and infrastructure sectors,” said Asad Alam, the World Bank’s country director for MENA.