The FES cooperates with governmental and non-governmental organizations that contribute to socio-political discourse in order to achieve social justice, reduce the gap between the different social classes, and realize social democratic principles to balance and stabilize society. It also aims to encourage a constructive tripartite social dialogue in Egypt.
Social protection is globally recognized as a basic human right, stipulated in the United Nations Declaration on Human Rights since 1948. It mainly focuses on empowering the marginalized and vulnerable groups through the provision of different instruments and services that help to improve their well-being, diminish their exposure to risks and address existing inequalities.
In Egypt, which suffers from a national poverty rate of more than 25%, achieving social protection for all citizens is a must, especially when Egypt's social security systems lack coordination, provides inadequate coverage outside urban clusters and witness uneven distribution of benefits. However, the extension of social protection requires a broad coalition of actors including government officials, civil society organizations and the business sector, working collectively to achieve this aim.
In that context, the project aims to engage and compliment government efforts to set a social protection floor for all citizens while soliciting the support of civil society actors and the business sector. This process has already started since 2015, by the Ministry of Social Solidarity (MoSS), in accordance with ILO Recommendation No. 202 (Social Protection Floors, SPF). Furthermore, the project is assisting the government in strengthening its social security systems in areas such as Governance, Investment and Pension System Reforms, which aim at supporting the design, implementation and monitoring of social security systems and providing information on policy changes and procedures required for its implementation.
According to the Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAMPAS), the unemployment rate reached 10 % in the third quarter of 2018, which is in fact challenging Egypt’s endeavors to achieve social and economic development and hindering all social and political stability attempts.
Thus, creating jobs and improving the labor market environment is an essential task especially among Egyptian youth who are faced with structural challenges that limit the availability of decent jobs. Among these challenges are limited employment opportunities in the public sector, the slow pace of growth in the formal private sector and the increasing level of skills mismatch between formal education and the labor market. Consequently, new and better economic opportunities for the youth population need to be created in the private sector and away from the over occupied public sector. Moreover, there is an urgent need to examine factors influencing youth job choices and the different policy constrains to alternative models of employment that could improve job opportunities for Egyptian youth.
In that context, the project aims to complement government efforts in addressing unemployment through promoting alternative models of employment (self-employment, social entrepreneurship, etc.) and creating a cultural shift from the unilateral focus on the public sector to the wider horizons of the private sector and entrepreneurship. Moreover, the project engages with active labor market policies that address employment constraints among the most vulnerable groups in society.
Access to quality basic education is fundamental to achieve national and international development goals. And, despite current efforts in educational reform in Egypt, sharp inequalities still remain in the current system, evident in enrolment rates, attainment levels, available infrastructure, teacher competencies and financial investment in education.
These inequalities are further aggravated by geography, gender and socio-economic status, with girls from the poorest 20% of the population, living in rural Upper Egypt, being the most adversely effected.
Hence, there is a dire need for building a platform among all relevant stakeholders and civil society organizations involved in the educational process to discuss the conditions of educational institutions/services among concerned parties to reach more effective proposals for improving educational services in Egypt. More importantly, these platforms need to engage more voices from rural upper Egypt who are still highly affected by the existing inequalities in our education system.
In that context, the project aims at conducting dialogue sessions in upper Egypt among officials of the Ministry of Education at the local level and local civil society organizations to discuss the civil society's vision of educational services in their communities aiming to reach common visions about policies and practices that affect access to quality education in these areas. Through dialogue, we believe both the government and civil society can identify policies that need to be revised and discussed or propose other policies to improve education services in a socially equitable manner as well as expand cooperation with relevant stakeholders for improving quality of education services in rural upper Egypt.
Financial inclusion remains the only way to enable the Egyptian economy to achieve high growth rates and sustainable development as it plays a significant role on ensuring access to financial services (pensions, insurance, etc).
The Central Bank plays an important role in enhancing financial inclusion through providing simplified financial services, such as the use of electronic payments applications. <s></s>
Renewable energy plays a central role towards a sustainable urban development and the achievement of green economy. In line with Egypt’s vision 2030 to stimulate investments in this sector through increasing the share of renewable energy from the total energy sources, there is an urgent need to raise community awareness of the significance of sustainable energy.
Egypt is witnessing a significant development in the field of industrial investment as the government published an industrial investment map that helps the local and foreign investors to identify the areas and places available for investment. It also helps decision makers make sound decisions supported by a clear vision of the competitive potential development, which facilitates the procedures of operating factories and obtaining the required licenses and various industrial activities.
The purpose of the project is to empower civil society in sustainable economic transformation through facilitating the provision of information aiming for stimulating industrial investment. Accordingly, a number of workshops are conducted throughout the project to encourage the participation of the private sector, academic and educational institutions and benefit from successful international experiences in the establishment of renewable energy projects in industrial areas. Furthermore, the project provides support to small and medium enterprises (SMEs), through spreading community awareness about sustainable economic development, and financial inclusion, transition to renewable energy in industrial cities for achieving a level of economic growth that is inclusive and bears fruits for the majority of the people.
The world is fast becoming a global village due to the increasing demand of energy across the globe, while the earth in its form cannot change. The need for energy and its related services to satisfy human, social and economic development, welfare and health is increasing.
Relaying on renewable energy sources to help mitigate climate change is an excellent approach, which needs to be sustainable in order to meet the energy demand of future generations.
Renewable Energy transformation can attribute to climate change, to increase energy access, to meet global sustainable development goals, especially (SDG7). By expanding renewable energy’s share in the energy mix by 2030, we can take a serious attempt towards a sustainable renewable energy future while also meeting the bold ambitions goals under the Paris Climate Agreement.
However, in the midst of the political changes in the Middle East, the issues of energy efficiency and renewable energy have been given less attention. Similar to most of the countries, Egypt suffers from a lack of societal awareness regarding the significance of the efficient use of energy. Moreover, despite being privileged with natural resources that are considered important sources of energy, such as solar and wind, Egypt still suffers from the limited use of renewable energy sources which is hindering its path towards sustainable development.
Consequently, there is an urgent need to increase community awareness regarding the significant use of sustainable energy with a focus on the use of renewable sources of energy (especially solar energy). This is particularly in line with Egypt’s Vision 2030 and its strategic goals as well as the government's attempts to stimulate investments in this sector by increasing renewable energy output from total energy resources.
The project aims for establishing platforms for cooperation targeting the development of the renewable energy sector through raising community awareness about renewable energy and focusing on solar energy with its applications in the local market. In addition to providing information to encourage investment in this sector by highlighting successful case studies and lessons learned through a series of events with the purpose of knowledge sharing and benefit from international experiences in technology transfer.