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EBRD and Sawiris Foundation support inclusion in Egypt’s hospitality sector

By Nibal Zgheib

  • EBRD and Sawiris Foundation for Social Development create access to market -skills and employment opportunities for young people in Egypt
  • New culinary workshop launched at German Hotel School in El Gouna
  • Switzerland and EBRD SEMED Multi-donor Account to support these activities

In Egypt, the workforce of tomorrow will have access to market-relevant training opportunities, thanks to a new culinary arts and kitchen workshop launched with the support of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and the Sawiris Foundation for Social Development (SFSD) today at the German Hotel School in El Gouna.

At the German Hotel School in El Gouna, the new training unit, funded by the EBRD’s Southern and Eastern Mediterranean Multi-Donor Account(SEMED MDA)*, will focus on culinary skills and is expected to combine the teaching of theory with hands-on experience.

The EBRD and SFSD, with donor support from the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO), will also work together to offer more services and new specialisations at the school, promote careers for young women in the tourism sector, raise awareness of gender inclusion and support the governance of the German Hotel School.

Rania A. Al-Mashat, Minister of International Cooperation of Egypt, said: “Investing in human capital is the core of sustainable development. Bettering the skills of our workforce and increasing job opportunities across sectors, including tourism, which is one of the country’s economic drivers, are key government priorities. Building back better, on both the global and national level, requires strengthened partnerships, as exemplified by the diverse portfolio of more than 130 development projects between Egypt and the EBRD.”

Heike Harmgart, EBRD Managing Director for the Southern and Eastern Mediterranean region, said: “We are very happy to partner with the Sawiris Foundation to develop the skills of young Egyptians. Tourism is a very important sector for Egypt, representing 15 per cent of its economy. Launching this new kitchen for culinary education will provide new learning and employment opportunities for young women and men in Egypt and increase  service capacity.”

Noura Selim, Executive Director of the SFSD, commented: “We are truly proud of our collaboration this year with the EBRD, a strategic international partner that supports our vision and expansion plan for dual-hospitality education in the German Hotel School in El Gouna. The newly established, state-of-the-art kitchen offers an in-depth experience in culinary education to students. Under the guidance and mentorship of top-quality German and Egyptian professionals in the hospitality sector, the students will have an even smoother transition into the workforce”.

Today’s launch follows a memorandum of understanding that the two partners signed in 2019 to strengthen their relationship through joint cooperation and contribute to inclusive growth and economic development in Egypt, with particular emphasis on women and skills training for youth.

The SFSD was established in 2001 with an endowment from the Sawiris family and was one of the first national donor foundations in Egypt. Since its establishment, the SFSD has focused on addressing pressing issues such as poverty, unemployment, the provision of health services and access to quality education. 

The German Hotel School in El Gouna was founded in 2002. It provides a recognised diploma from the Leipzig Chamber of Industry and Commerce and an Egyptian hospitality diploma from the Ministry of Education, thus providing greater employment opportunities for graduates.  

Egypt is a founding member of the EBRD. Since the start of the Bank’s operations there in 2012, the EBRD has invested more than €8 billion in 137 projects in the country.

*The donors to the SEMED MDA are: Australia, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Taipei China and the United Kingdom.


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