- Population growth
- 2.02 %
- GDP per capita
Italian Cooperation in the country
Development Cooperation relations between Italy and Egypt dates back to 1979, when the first bilateral agreement was signed for the implementation of development projects. From the second half of the 80’s until today, Egypt is one of the priority countries in the Italian Cooperation strategy and recipient country of a significant share of the Italian support, mainly through bilateral and multi-bilateral channels, but also through the multilateral one and through contributions to Civil Society Organizations and the Italian Egyptian Debt Swop Programme. Also Egypt is a priority country for the Italian Cooperation and in the latest programmatic plan for development (2017-2019), the government of Italy specifies that the priority areas of intervention for the next three years are rural development and socio-economic development.
There are several reasons that explain the presence of the Italian Cooperation in Egypt. First, Egypt is the most populated country in the Middle East, and the third most populous on the African continent. According to the latest data from CAPMAS (the Egyptian Governmental population census Agency) in 2017 the total population was reaching 95 Million of inhabitants and it is estimated that will reach 153 Million of people in 2050. In the second place, 4,2 % of the population lives in multidimensional poverty while an additional 5,6 % is vulnerable to various deprivations, with a 2016 Human Development Index that positions Egypt at only 111 out of 188 countries. In addition, one should also consider the proximity of the two countries as well as the long-standing history of sound collaboration and mutual trust, strengthened by cultural and economic links as well as by the common Mediterranean roots. Finally, while, its economy is one of the most diversified in the Middle East, however, Egypt has been going through a particular difficult moment due to the rather unstable political, social and economic situation since 2011: that is why Italy remains firmly committed to supporting the Egyptian government in achieving its development. In July 2013 a constitutional road map was adopted from the new authorities governing the country that led to two important results. In January 2014 the constitution was approved through a referendum during which the European Union sent a mission of electoral observers. In May 2014,at the presidential election the electoral participation was 47,5% and saw General El-Sisi, head of the Egyptian army, as the winner with 97,5% of the votes The EU mission of electoral observes concluded that the election was conducted in line with the international standards, but that human rights and in general individual’s freedom were still far to be reached. The next election are scheduled for end of March 2018 and it is expected another victory of the former president of Egyptian Arab Republic.
Strategic development document in the country
The Sustainable Development Strategy: Egypt Vision 2030 takes into consideration the challenges facing the process of development in Egypt. These challenges are represented in the scarcity of natural resources such as energy, land and water,human development resources including population, health, and education; the inadequacy of the governance system; and the absence of systems that foster creativity and innovation. In addition, the strategy adopts a number of goals and targets, in order to transform these elements into incentives for development, instead of being major challenges.In this regard, the strategy has adopted the Sustainable Development Concept as a general framework, meant for the improvement of the quality of life in a way that does not affect the right of following generations for a better life. Hence, the development concept adopted by the strategy is based on three main dimensions:
- Social Dimension
- Environmental Dimension.
Furthermore, the strategy is based on the concepts of sustainable and inclusive growth and balanced regional development, ensuring the participation of everyone in the process of building and development for the benefit of all the Egyptians from the outcomes of this development.Moreover, the strategy takes into account the principles of equal opportunities, bridging some development gaps, the optimal use of resources and supporting the fairness of their usage, and ensuring the rights of the next generations. In light of the three major dimensions of sustainable development, the strategy includes ten dimensions:
1. The Economic Dimension comprises the pillars of economic development, energy, innovation, scientific research, and transparency and efficiency of institutions.
2. The Social Dimension involves the pillars of social justice, education and training,
health, and culture.
3. The Environmental Dimension includes the pillars of environment and urban
In addition, there are the two pillars of foreign policy and national security, as well as domestic policy, forming a comprehensive framework for the strategy and determining the other pillars. Moreover, it is worth referring to ensuring the consistency and coherence between the targets ofEgypt’s national sustainable development and the universal targets of the United NationsIn this regard, each one of these pillars includes its own construction elements, represented in the following: the strategic target, the sub-targets to achieve these goals, the performance indicators, the planned quantitative targets to achieve these goals, the expected challenges, the necessary programs and projects, and the priority of executing these programs in their time sequence.
The Italian strategy and the areas of intervention
The sectors of intervention of the Italian Cooperation in Egypt have been identified with the active participation and dialogue especially with the Egyptian Ministry of International Cooperation and Development have been identified, and other donors such us the European Union Delegation in Cairo,
The sectors are in line with the new priorities of the EU-Egypt Partnership for 2017-2020 - and include the development priorities of Egypt, identified in the document "Egypt's vision 2030" and in the Strategic Framework for the National Economic Development Plan and Social up to 2022 published by the Ministry of International Cooperation.The Italian Cooperation acts within strategies and legal framework regularly agreed upon at the highest governmental level, in particular: The Development Cooperation Framework Agreement (2010) and the Memorandum of Understanding regarding a New Development Partnership (2010).
The Italian Cooperation in Egypt has as a main objective eradicate hunger and poverty by working on several dimensions : (i) the social dimension has as objective the protection and empowerment of the most vulnerable groups of the population, ,especially women, children, elderly and people with disabilities-;(ii) Human Capital development through technical and vocational education and training focuses to promotion job’s opportunities - especially for young people; (iii) economic development supports the development and access to credit in particular of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises ; (iv) Agriculture and Rural Development is an important and historical sector for the Italian cooperation in Egypt and it aims at improving water resource management and efficiency in agriculture, promote good agricultural practices and enhance socio-economic condition of local farmers; (v) cultural heritage is another dimension fundamental for the protection and enhancement of the beautiful natural, cultural, historical and archaeological Egyptian heritage, also through the promotion of forms of responsible tourism; (vi) Environment is a crucial sector for Italy and projects under this umbrella aim at protect the many natural protected areas of Egypt, to enhance the quality of air, water and to improve the waste management of the country.
The Italian Cooperation has different financial instruments to finance development interventions such as grants, aid’s credits and debt conversion. The Italian-Egyptian Debt for Development Swap (IEDS) Programme represents a joint impressive commitment resulting from the longstanding Italian-Egyptian partnership. In line with the Debt-Swap principles and policies that contribute to the reduction of Egypt’s foreign debt to be converted for financing development initiatives, the Programme’s actions have been prioritized in order to be socially and economically equitable and sustainable across all sectors of interventions.
Italy and Egypt have been cooperating in the field of development through the debt swap mechanism since 2001, the year of the signature of the bilateral Agreement of the IEDS for the first phase which was successfully concluded in 2008. The amount of this agreement was approximately USD 149 million, which funded 53 initiatives promoted by governmental entities and the civil society. Leveraging on the positive experience of IEDS phase I, the second phase Agreement of the IEDS was signed in 2007 and it covers a period of 10 years to be concluded in December 2017. Under this Agreement, 31 initiatives have been financed for a total of USD 100 million, promoted by Egyptian governmental entities and the civil society. The third phase Agreement was signed in 2012 and will be completed in 2023 for an amount of USD 100 million,
At the sectoral level, the Italian Cooperation focuses on five sectors of intervention:
- Agriculture and Rural Development
- Social Affairs
- Economic Development;
- Cultural heritage;
Alignment with the local government strategy and harmonization with donor community interventions
The main donors in Egypt are European Union, USA, France, Germany, Japan, Sweden, the Netherlands, Belgium, the UK and Spain. Furthermore, several UN agencies have long being operating in the country. The donors’ coordination mechanism in line with the joint planning includes regular meetings of the Development Partners Group (DPG), as well as the establishment of thematic DPG Sub-Groups aimed at facilitating information sharing and coordination among development partners operating in selected fields, such as agriculture, health, education, gender. Italy and FAO took the leadership to co-chair and facilitate the DPG on Agriculture and Rural Development. It also participates in the Effective Development Taskforce, a working group that promotes the implementation in Egypt of the global partnership for effective development cooperation.
Italy, although not one of the main donors of the country, has the objective of working with high quality standards and with the highest level of participation and integration in the framework of coordination mechanisms. Italian Cooperation has played an active role in the exercise of European Joint Programming. Joint Programming is aimed at ensuring the harmonization of the cooperation strategies of the EU member States in Ethiopia and their alignment with the SDSEV 2030, the predictability of aid and transparency, avoiding overlapping or fragmented interventions, through a process of locally defined division of labor. Following a joint analysis of the Egyptian social, economic and political context and of the national development plan, four priority intervention clusters were identified in which they intend to promote joint initiatives and/or a common approach, in dialogue with the government. The four priority clusters are:
Economic modernization, energy sustainability and environment;
Social development and social protection;
The work of Italian NGOs in Egypt has always been appreciated as a valuable contribution to the socio-economic development of the country. Thanks to a regular work in the field, hand in hand with Egyptian Institutions and Civil Society, NGOs have provided continuous support and assistance to their local partners, ensuring at the same time a permanent dialogue with the institutional counterparts.
Moreover, a strong partnership between Egyptian Institutions and Italian Universities has been established in the sector of environment and cultural heritage. In particular, the University of Pisa and the University of Tuscia have been collaborating with the Ministry of Antiquities in archeological sites, such as Medinet Madi in Fayoum Governorate. Finally, it is worth underlining also the important activities carried out by Italian Regions (Emilia Romagna, Lazio, Puglia and Campania).
Goals and expected results
its sustainable and inclusive economic-social development agenda and become a high-income country by 2030, in coordination with the donor community and promoting the “whole of country” approach.
In line with the priority sectors of the Egyptian-Italian Cooperation Framework 2017-19, Italy intends to pursue these specific objectives:
- Support the efforts of the Egyptian Government to improve the quality, productivity and competitiveness of the productive sectors (agriculture and industry, in particular the labor-intensive light industry for export);
- Offer sustainable long-term solutions to the structural problems linked with water scarcity and low yield in agriculture
- Improve universal access to basic services and improve quality and equity in their delivery with consequent progress on the human development index;
- Promote women and youth empowerment, ensure their participation in development processes and enable them to equally benefit from development outcomes;
- Promote good governance and strengthen institutional capacities at the federal and local levels.
- Contrast the root causes of irregular migration flows.;
Therefore the expected results are:
- The business climate is improved and agricultural productivity is increased with positive repercussions on rapid industrialization process, dynamic expansion of market and exports;
- Strengthened water efficiency and agricultural productivity
- Access to improved quality services, in particular water and sanitation, health and education is increased and geographical inequalities and gaps between rural and urban areas in the provision and quality of services are reduced;
- New economic and employment opportunities, especially for women and young people, are created also thanks to a better offer of vocational training and market-oriented activities, with a consequent reduction in irregular migration phenomena;
- Good governance in the country is reinforced through institutional support for the improvement of statistical capacities at federal and regional level;
- Effective female participation in the processes of socio-economic development and democratization in the country is granted.
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AICS development projects
Total resources committed
Total resources used
What is it spent for?
The purpose/sector of destination of a bilateral contribution should be selected by answering the question “which specific area of the recipient’s economic or social structure is the transfer intended to foster”. The sector classification does not refer to the type of goods or services provided by the donor. Sector specific education or research activities (e.g. agricultural education) or construction of infrastructure (e.g. agricultural storage) should be reported under the sector to which they are directed, not under education, construction, etc. read more close
By means of?
The typology identifies the modalities that are used in aid delivery. It classifies transfers from the donor to the first recipient of funds (e.g. the recipient country, a multilateral organisation, or a basket fund). It does not track the end uses of the funds, which is addressed in the sector classification and to some extent through the policy objective markers. read more close