The International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank, intends to raise its investments in Egypt to exceed $1bn for supporting the private sector in fields of manufacturing, agriculture, energy, and support financial institutions in the coming fiscal year (FY), according to Sergio Pimenta, vice president of the IFC for the Middle East and Africa.
In late April, the IFC announced that the corporation is very committed to support Egypt as it is investing almost $1bn to support the country’s private sector this fiscal year (FY), as a result of Egypt’s strong economic reforms.
The IFC signed on Sunday a memorandum of understanding with Daltex, a leading agribusiness producer for fresh fruit and vegetables in Egypt, to increase economic opportunities for its women employees and smallholder farmers.
Meanwhile, the IFC’s advisory team will work with Daltex to identify commercially viable, sustainable solutions to increase the share and retention of women workers in select Daltex-owned farms and packaging facilities, and women farmers and smallholders in its value chain.
Regarding the number of women workers in Egypt, Pimenta noted that women represent just over 13% of permanent full-time workers and about 18% of business owners. Nevertheless, only 5% of Egypt’s firms are led by a female executive and they earn on average about 22% less than their male counterparts.
Pimenta added that closing these gaps could help Egypt increase its gross domestic product by over 30%.
For her part, Minister of Investment and International Cooperation Sahar Nasr said that the government aims to raiser the contribution rates of SMEs to the Egyptian economy to global levels.
The minister highlighted the importance of joint cooperation between the private sector and financial institutions in promoting women’s economic situation, stressing the importance of the step, which comes with the aim of creating jobs for women and improving their sources of income.
Nasr affirmed that the Egyptian government is constantly supporting and empowering women at all levels.
Hesham El Naggar, CEO of Daltex, said, “including women and men throughout our operations allows us to tap into a much wider and more diverse pool of resources, whether in terms of our employees, farmers, or even business partners that we do business with. This is part of our broader business strategy to grow production, reach new markets, and create opportunities for our communities.”