EBRD, EU and Italy boosting value chains and youth employment in Egypt

By Nibal Zgheib

Finance and technical assistance to agribusiness company El Roda

(l-r) Chairman of Al Roda , Bahey el Baroudy with EBRD President Suma Chakrabarti. 

  • Loan from EBRD to invest in El Roda’s expansion of fruit and vegetable business
  • EU funding to programme aimed at strengthening SME competitiveness and value chains in Egypt
  • Italy supports pilot programme to increase local youth employment

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), in partnership with the European Union (EU) and Italy, is helping to strengthen small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Egypt by improving their competitiveness and establishing stronger value chains.

El Roda Company for Agricultural Development, an Egyptian producer and exporter of fruits and vegetables that specialises in grapes, will receive a loan to acquire new grape varieties, along with irrigation systems and other machinery required for their cultivation. It will also expand its existing grape-packing facility.

Thanks to the EBRD loan, the company will become more competitive on the market by adding a new, patented type of grape that offers higher margins compared with current products.

An investment grant under the Trade and Competitiveness Programme funded by the EU will support El Roda’s capital expenditure plan and enable it to reach new export markets. This is the first transaction under the Programme in Egypt, which helps SMEs to introduce new products, improve standards and enhance links with suppliers and buyers.

In addition, El Roda, which currently employs over 230 people, will contribute to a more inclusive economy by implementing an internship scheme, part of the new Youth Employment Programme funded by Italy. As a result, the company will be able to provide work-based learning opportunities as well as recruit and retain young skilled labour. This will be the Programme’s first project in Egypt.

The signing of the loan took place today, in the presence of Suma Chakrabarti, EBRD President, Ambassador Ivan Surkos, Head of the European Union Delegation to Egypt.

The EBRD works in Egypt to support sustainable energy, direct and indirect financing of private enterprises and the promotion of infrastructure reform. The Bank has invested over €4.5 billion in the country since it started operations there in 2012.