Arab Partnership team in Egypt attended the Egyptian Network for Integrated Development’s (ENID) first annual conference held on the 14th of December, 2013, with the participation of around 250 guests. Seven relevant ministers were guest speakers; Dr. Ziad Bahaa El-Din, Deputy Prime Minister & Minister of International Cooperation (Key-note speaker), Dr. Ashraf El- Araby, Minister of Planning, Gen. Adel Labib, Minister of Local Development, Dr. Ahmed Galal, Minister of Finance, and Dr. Mounir Fakhry Abd El Nour, Minister of Industry and Foreign Trade. Along with Ms. Anita Nirody, Resident Representative of UNDP and the former Grand Mofti of Egypt, Dr. Ali Gomaa.
ENID works to support economic planning and reform, improved public services and sustainable livelihoods in Qena. The conference reviewed the first year of their work and brought many officials, civil society actors and development partners together to discuss lessons learnt and future priorities. The holistic approach to boosting the economic fortunes of the people of Qena Governorate was held up as a model for successful development in rural Egypt. ENID has also brought in best practice from India and elsewhere to inform the programme.
The ENID programme was designed to work in one of the poorest areas of Egypt. Out of the 1000 poorest villages in whole Egypt, 941 villages are in the south focused in Assiut, Menia, Sohag, Quena and Luxor. Traditional agriculture is the main source of income to the local people.
The conference was attended by 55 people from Qena who represented participating NGOs and local government representatives aiming to create a strong networking environment between citizens and policy makers to promote ENID’s goals and identify areas of expansion.
The conference heard that the business community had been engaged in discussions about the investment climate, people had been trained in sustainable livelihoods and a number of pieces of research and analysis been undertaken. Basic services like water and sanitation had begun to be extended and youth programmes initiated. Dr. Heba Handousa, the Managing Director of ENID praised in her introductory speech the UK Government’s support to poverty alleviation in Upper Egypt.
The UK was the first and still the most substantial funder of the ENID programme, providing £700,000 over 3 years. “Support to the Egyptian Integrated Development Network to provide research on Inclusive Economic Policies” is a project funded by the UK through the Arab Partnership which is the UK’s strategic response to the Arab Spring and to the people of Egypt as they move towards a more prosperous and democratic future.