Egypt and The World Bank Signs Two New Agreements

March 25, 2010

The two agreements were signed by the Minister of International Cooperation H.E. Dr. Fayza Aboulnaga and Dr. Shamshad Akhtar, the World Bank Vice President for the Middle East and North Africa Region. The Prime Minister H.E. Dr. Ahmad Nazif and Minister of Civil Aviation Ahmed Shafiq witnessed the signing.

The first project, Enhancing Access to Finance for Micro and Small Enterprises Project, supports access to finance for small and micro entrepreneurs whose role is vital in Egypt’s job creation and economic growth.

“Micro and small businesses are a primary driver for job creation and economic growth in emerging economies,” said Dr. Shamshad Akhtar, World Bank Vice President for the Middle East and North Africa. “In several countries of this region they contribute to economic diversification and play an important role in private sector development. Through increasing access to finance for small business players, we aim at increasing productivity and employment as a development priority in our support to this region.”

The Project will support the government's priority
program to encourage the sustainable expansion of this sector. It is estimated to account for over 99 percent of Egyptian enterprises, 85 percent of non-agricultural private-sector employment, and, correspondingly, almost 40 percent of total employment. This makes it a critical path to building a more inclusive system able to cater to less privileged segments in the society.

Enhancing Access to Finance for Micro and Small Enterprises Project is the first World Bank-funded project to support of Micro and Small Enterprises in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.

The second project, Cairo Airport Development Project (CADP) Second Terminal Building, aims to support Egypt’s air transport sector, which is highly strategic for the country’s economic development, through responding to the rapidly rising passenger traffic at the Cairo International Airport and reinforcing the role of CAI as a regional hub. The objectives of the project are to support the Government of Egypt (GOE) to: (i) enhance the quality of airport services through an increase in the capacity of Cairo International Airport (CAI), and, (ii) strengthen air transport in Egypt.

“The World Bank’s support to the air transport sector in Egypt is in line with the Bank’s Country Assistance Strategy which identifies enhancing the provision of public services as a key objective to achieve sustainable growth,” Dr. Akhtar said.

The Cairo International Airport (CAI) is the largest airport in Egypt and the second largest in Africa after Johannesburg in South Africa. Today, Cairo International Airport is used by 58 passenger airlines, including charter operators, 10 cargo operators, and has a total capacity of 21 million passengers per annum (mppa) divided into three terminal buildings.