Saudi Arabia aids Egypt’s digital future with $6.4mn grant

By Rahul Vaimal, Associate Editor
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Saudi Arabia has provided a $6.4 million grant to one of the largest banks in Egypt to support digital transformation and promote local craft programs in the country.

Egypt’s Minister for International Cooperation, Rania Al-Mashat stated that the funding of the Bank of Alexandria by the Saudi Grant Management Committee will reinforce funding mechanisms to help small, medium and micro-enterprises and build job opportunities.

To date, the Saudi Arabia Grant Committee has financed 2,180 projects in 27 provinces, generating nearly 12,000 jobs.

Mr. Al-Mashat praised the financial contribution of the Kingdom for generating new jobs and the achievement of the 2030 National Development Agenda goals.

The committee had decided in June to finance three programs for the agricultural bank and two health care initiatives with an estimated amount of $19 million. These three projects will fund small-scale and micro-enterprises in rural villages, targeting both women oriented projects and handicraft activities.

The Bank of Alexandria’s targeted funding initiatives includes digital transformation of its 176 branches in 26 provinces, with an emphasis on the provinces of Cairo and Alexandria.

Another initiative would fund handicraft micro-projects in 26 governorates through the bank’s branches, concentrating on the Delta, Upper Egypt, Cairo and Alexandria governorates.

The portfolio of the bank is worth around $600 million in the medium, small and micro business sectors.

According to an official statement, “It is expected that about 1,475 clients will benefit from the funds, with 30 percent going to women-owned companies and 45 percent to firms owned by people under 35.”

The most influential intermediaries are the National Bank of Egypt and the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency, in addition to the direct grant financing beneficiaries, including FJ Hermes Financial Leasing Company and Inmaa Leasing Company.