El-Sisi promotes investment in Upper Egypt

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Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi inaugurated a number of development projects in Upper Egypt and nationwide via video conference on Sunday, in a public event during his visit to Beni Suef giving a strong boost to Upper Egypt’s economy, Acting Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouli, Minister of Defence Sedki Sobhi and state officials accompanied the president on his visit to Beni Suef. A 2016 report by Egypt’s official statistics agency CAMPAS stated that 57 percent of rural areas in the country’s south are impoverished, with the country’s highest poverty rates in Upper Egypt’s governorates of Sohag، Assiut and Qena.

The projects inaugurated included a number of hospitals, water treatment stations, road expansions and university development plans across different governorates, including Sohag, Luxor and Beni Suef. Some of which are expansions to a Samsung factory that produces devices relying on made-in-Egypt components at the rate of 80 percent, the $185 million second phase of Beni Suef’s General Hospital which includes 48 clinics and special clinics to treat hepatitis C, the third phase of Luxor Public Hospital, A major industrial complex for electronic devices production, a 255 million Egyptian pounds water station in Sohag,  as well as, 2,280 residential units at the cost of 280 million pounds. The 2,280 residential units are distributed among 98 flat buildings that are connected with all facility networks such as electricity, water supply, water waste, and telecommunication networks. These apartments are part of the social housing project in Sohag comprising 138 buildings and they were handed to residents who were selected randomly from applicants. The projects accomplished in Sohag throughout the past four years are in the value of 10.34 billion pounds. These projects include five water stations and a roads network.

During the conference at which Egyptian ministers and government officials spoke about recently-launched projects, Egyptian Minister of Social Solidarity Ghada Wali stated that 86 percent of the ministry’s financial aid to the country’s most impoverished groups under the Takaful and Karama program goes to Upper Egypt. The Takaful and Karama (Solidarity and Dignity) programs were launched in 2015 with the aim of offering financial backing to impoverished families with school-age children, the elderly and people with special needs. While, in his address to the conference, Tade Minister Tarek Kabil said 10 industrial zones and 3,000 small-sized factories in the country’s south are planned for completion by the end of this year. The projects are part of the government’s plans to stimulate industrial growth in Upper Egypt and its contribution to the the national domestic product.

It is to be noted that public investments directed to the development of northern Upper Egypt in the current fiscal year amounted to LE 6.924 billion, representing 3.6 percent of total investments, with the government contributing 95.7 percent of total public investments. According to the government plan, the governorate of Minya accounts for 48.9 percent of total investments in the region, followed by Beni Suef, which accounts for 27.4 percent of total investments, then Al-Fayoum by 23.9 percent.

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