Egypt: World Bank helping to create job opportunities
World Bank has pumped a quarter of a billion dollar in Egypt to create job opportunities. The money is channeled through labor-intensive projects with the objective of developing skills and easing the employment of people. Priority is being given to those in the poorest areas of the country such as Upper Egypt.
The bank’s country director for Egypt, Yemen and Djibouti, Hartwig Schafer, said the investment is driven by the plan “to reach local communities that are deeply affected by Egypt’s weak economic performance.” It is estimated that 250,000 job opportunities will be created from the investment which will also improve the conditions of schools and roads in certain areas. He said that the $250,000 investment was motivated by a popular slogan, “bread, freedom and social justice”, during the revolution.
The project will focus on the youth. They account for the highest number of unemployment in the country. Director Hartwig Schafer considers that it is the right time to involve them in projects because they can help in developing infrastructural projects in the country.
Schafer added that the bank mainly aims to support the Egyptian government achieve economic stability, and create a suitable environment to attract investments. He opined that it could be attained by “fostering employment and encouraging Egyptians to participate in development projects”. The country is struggling with its finances and has just rejected the IMF loan.
Professor Hala El-Saeed of Cairo University said training for the job market is a shortcoming which has a negative impact on the local production. She said this has led to Egypt being uncompetitive on the international market. She suggested that a law should be put in place to regulate minimum and maximum wages to motivate workers and fight against poverty in the country.