SwitchMed Down the Nile Project to Support Sustainable Economy and Green and Blue Entrepreneurship Kicks-off

On 9 June, 2022 & in the framework of the “SwitchMed Down the Nile Project to support Sustainable Economy and Green and Blue Entrepreneurship in Egypt”, the Centre for Environment and Development for the Arab Region and Europe (CEDARE) in partnership with the Egyptian Ministry of Environment (MOE) organized the first Consultation Session at the MOE premises in Cairo. The Project is part of SwitchMed and comes in-line with Egypt’s current substantial efforts in reinforcing medium, small, and micro enterprises.  

The session was chaired by Dr. Ali Abo Sena, Chairman of the Egyptian Environmental Affairs Authority (EEAA), and Dr. Hossam Allam, Regional Director of the Sustainable Growth Programme, CEDARE. The Consultation aimed at introducing the Project’s objectives and components to 25 participants, who represented stakeholders from governmental & non-governmental business support organizations (BSOs), international organizations, financial institutions, banks, incubators, academia, and universities’ research and innovation centers. This comes also in preparation of the launch of the National Initiative for Sustainable Entrepreneurs.

“Absolute coordination is the secret word”, stated Dr. Hossam Allam in his welcoming note, he added: “Complete collaboration and networking between all stakeholders throughout the lifecycle of the Project will result in best realizing our aspirations; hence, creating a better setting for sustainable entrepreneurship in Egypt”. He emphasized that this partnership is building on the long-standing collaboration between CEDARE, SwitchMed and the MOE in previous fruitful interventions, namely the Sustainable Consumption & Production Action Plan for Egypt and the SwitchMed Demo Project.

In his opening speech, Dr. Abo Sena said that “the inclusion of sustainable economy in nations’ strategies and policies is certainly inevitable, and attaining environmental quality and awareness is one of the tools of economic growth and a step forward towards the sought Egypt Vision 2030 as well. Yet, governments cannot achieve their goals without the contribution of development partner organizations together with financial institutions, non-governmental organizations, private sector, civil society and other chief players”. With nearly 30 years of experience in green economy, CEDARE is co-partnering with MedWaves (The UNEP/MAP Regional Activity Centre for SCP); a distinct player in green entrepreneurship with a track record exceeding 30 years. Both are joining forces with the Ministry of Environment in instigating this endeavor in Egypt, as the programme is regionally implemented in 7 other countries. It aims at supporting circular economy, reinforcing green entrepreneurship and including blue economy principles in the eco-system. It involves the capacity building of the BSOs to align with the fast-growing sustainable economy mandates and cater for the increasing demands of business today; consequently, ensuring sustainable job opportunities. It targets all stakeholders pertinent to the domain of entrepreneurship and sustainable economy in Egypt, yet, with special emphasis to BSOs, that will enjoy a plentiful package of technical assistance as well as access to stimulating business linkages. Furthermore, they will mainly benefit from an excellent training program to qualify to share the acquired know-how with a wider base of entrepreneurs nationwide, those will ultimately be entitled to lead the way to a steadily competent sustainable entrepreneurship scene in Egypt.

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