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Sunday, 5 May 2019

New World Bank president visits Egypt

New World Bank boss is in Egypt; met El Sisi yesterday and heading to Benban today: World Bank President David Malpass discussed infrastructure, labor force development and cooperation on small and medium-sized businesses yesterday in a meeting with President Abdel Fattah El Sisi, according to an Ittihadiya statement.

It’s Malpass’ first international trip since he assumed the top job. The WB chief also discussed how the Sisi administration’s reform program is playing out in the energy, health care, infrastructure and education sectors. Malpass met separately with Prime Minister Moustafa Madbouly and had previously announced that the bank will increase its support for Egypt under his leadership.

More support for SMEs in the pipeline: Malpass and SME Development Authority chief Nevine Gamea inked a “declaration of intent” to boost cooperation on entrepreneurship and SME development, according to an Investment Ministry statement (pdf). The statement also noted the bank’s recently approved USD 200 mn SMEs loan, of which USD 145 mn is earmarked to subsidize non-banking financial institutions offering funding for small businesses as well as for women- and youth-led SMEs.

Startups get some love, too: Malpass checked out the Investment Ministry’s Fekretak Sherketak, a government startup support initiative. He also met with entrepreneurs who’ve recently seen their businesses graduate from ministry-supported startup accelerator Falak’s fintech program, which is powered by EFG-EV Fintech. The startups included student-athlete network Pass-port, telecom optimization app Raseedi, and payroll consultant PayNas.

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