According to a 2011 Survey of young people in Egypt 6.9 percent of young people aged 10-29 have never been to school. While this percentage may seem small, it constitutes 2.1 million young Egyptians, and every year thousands of young people, especially girls, still fail to enter school. The percentage of females aged 10 to 29 who have never attended school (11 percent) is four times more than that of males (3 percent) in the same age group.
Towards a Solution
To address this challenge, in 2012, (ENID/El Nidaa) a ten-year initiative was initiated to develop viable and sustainable skill development and employment opportunities in South Upper Egypt, where levels of poverty and unemployment are high. It operates as a United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) project under the umbrella of Egypt’s Ministry of International Cooperation.
ENID works to address these gender challenges in its integrated approach to development. Moreover, there are significant constraints that women face in accessing the labour market such as the mismatch between skills acquired in schooling and what the labour market requires.
The project currently focuses in Upper Egypt and in Qena, in particular, where the poverty rate is 58 percent, one of the highest in the country, where 34.5 percent of the population is illiterate and where 13.5 percent are unemployed. The purpose of the ENID programme is to provide a sustainable and successful project model for replication and ownership by the local communities. Innovation in ENID’s approach rests on introducing best practice interventions.
Its methodology is based on action-oriented research that identifies sectors and products with growth opportunities and scalability, both local and nation-wide. It implements and adopts business and entrepreneurship models that have shown success elsewhere in the world, such as cluster promotion, the ‘one village one product’ skill model, and asset transfer. Creating best practice models that are scalable, with the potential for replication by local communities and supported by themselves, with private or government partnerships, is critical to the ENID mission.
ENID activities are divided into four domains which have been identified and defined based on an in-depth situation analysis of the needs of the region and villages in particular. The domains are as follows:
- Upgrading basic and public services in rural Upper Egypt: which consists of literacy training, a broadly defined life-skills curriculum, and, for the first time in rural Upper Egypt, sports activities to enhance leadership and team-building skills and prepare girls for integration into formal schooling.
- Promoting micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) and Entrepreneurship (One Village One Product Model): it’s a model from Japan and handicraft development experience from India, together with local solutions adapted to the specific context cooperating with local partners like universities, research institutes, and government offices to link jobs, skills training, food security and services.
- Sustainable agriculture development and off-farm incomes: through establishing and operating Integrated Fish- Agriculture-Livestock Pilot Farms in Qena, adopted Pilot Project for Clean Farming and Recycling of Agricultural Residues in Qena, developing and Operate Dairy Processing Plants in two Districts in Qena, developing and operating Milk Processing Units for the Household Level in Qena, and establishing and operating Poultry Backyard Production System in Qena.
The project has achieved the following:
- In January 2016, ENID became a Foundation to be able to ensure long term sustainability.
- Till November 2016, the project has directly benefited over 4,400 people in various manufacturing, agriculture and skills development based on the needs of the local communities. Furthermore, the project has contributed to linking the field-level best practices to local and national policies through its policy work and advocacy.
- ENID’s Sustainable Agricultural Development component had set the targets of creating at least 890 direct employability skills training opportunities (33 percent for women), and at least 470 direct job opportunities (68 percent for women). To date, ENID’s Sustainable Agricultural Development component has managed to exceed its targets, creating more than 700 employment opportunities and more than 2600 training opportunities to farmers and local staff in Upper Egypt.
- As of December 2014, ENID was implementing activities in over 35 villages throughout Qena and Upper Egypt and has trained a total of 2,135 beneficiaries in areas of services, skills and agriculture. Furthermore, it has provided some 573 jobs for people in Upper Egypt, among which 69 percent were for women. The total number of targeted jobs across all domains is 1,316.
Supported by: Sawiris Foundation, The Big Heart Foundation, Rockefeller Brothers Fund, Sida, Coca-Cola Foundation, The Italian Development Cooperation, UK Department for International Development (DFID), and UN Women.
Implementing Entity: UNDP, Ministry of International Cooperation
Project Status: Ongoing
Project Period: 2012-2021
URL to the Practice:
Name: Nelly Bahgat
Title: South-South Development Academy Egypt