Hisham Amna, Minister of Local Development, stated that the Ministry is providing all necessary support to fund micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in the governorates. Additionally, he noted that initiatives have been launched to fund small investors through the Local Development Fund and the “Mashrou’ak” program.

Amna explained that 211,000 projects received funding through the program at a cost estimated at EGP 28.3bn, in addition to funding about 30,000 projects by the Local Development Fund at EGP 229m, including agricultural industrialization projects in villages.

This took place during the Minister of Local Development’s participation in the plenary session of the Senate, headed by Abdel-Wahab Abdel-Razek, and in the presence of Alaa Fouad, Minister of Parliamentary Affairs, representatives and members of the Council, and several leaders within the Ministry of Local Development.

During the session, the Minister of Local Development explained that investment was encouraged and private sector activities in the field of agricultural industrialization were promoted, through developing about 341 fixed technological centers, alongside 50 mobile ones. Moreover, two main government services, which are shop licensing and building permits, were developed through reducing the wait time to obtain these services and simplifying their procedures.

He added that multiple reforms were implemented in the service delivery system in the governorate, using smart digital transformation systems and procedural guides to support leaders and officials in local units and raise their efficiency in dealing with these systems.

Amna also indicated that follow-up committees were formed for the technological centers in the governorates, and are now providing technical support to the centers. Additionally, the performance of the services provided is being constantly evaluated and followed up through the technology centers follow-up team or field visits by members of the inspection sector of the Ministry of Local Development.

The Minister of Local Development added that electronic services were provided through the portals designated for services, with the beneficiaries reaching 77,411 nationwide. Government services complexes were also developed within the Haya Karema initiative, with a total of 332 government services complexes.

Moreover, international methodologies were also applied to develop agricultural blocs based on value chains from the production stage to the marketing stage. These blocs were connected to industrial zones while raising the efficiency of infrastructure, providing business development services, supporting successful agricultural industrialization projects and raising the added value of agricultural crops.

The Minister added that the concept of economic blocs was introduced and the first integrated guide for the development of economic blocs was developed, which includes building on the lessons learned from the pilot application in the twelve blocs.

He explained that to ensure the sustainability of the policy of developing economic blocs, as one of the most important local economic development policies, a special program for local economic development was created within the local development programs. It aims to ensure the presence of local investments for this purpose.

A methodology for developing economic blocs was also adopted and included in the work policies of the Egyptian government, including relevant authorities such as the Industrial Modernization Center. The Minister of Local Development concluded by saying that there was networking with electronic marketing platforms and participation in exhibitions, such as Food Africa, from which 710 beneficiaries benefited in various agricultural fields in Upper Egypt governorates.

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