Egypt’s First Conf. of Decent Life Initiative brings CSR pivotal role into limelight  

Egypt’s First Conf. of Decent Life Initiative brings CSR pivotal role into limelight  
بقلم Marwa Nassar - -

The First Conference of Decent Life Initiative was launched on Wednesday within the framework of the National Youth Conference.

The conference focused on the pivotal role played by the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) in implementing development projects in most vulnerable villages, especially in Upper Egypt.

The conference underlined the importance of coordination among state ministries, civil society organizations and the private sector to join hands to carry out Decent Life projects in most needy villages in Egypt.

During the conference, Prime Minister Moustafa Madbouli called for collective not individual action to accomplish projects in most needy villages in order to turn  the whole life in such villages into a “decent life.”

Minister of Planning Hala el Saeed said “Under Egypt Vision 2030 and the Sustainable Development Goals, the state alone cannot accomplish such projects, there must be a partnership with the private sector in order to realize success.”

The state investments were concentrated on investing in humans, developing the state’s infrastructure and improving quality of life in order to encourage foreign investments, she noted.

She said there is multidimensional poverty, including for example sanitation and health services, expounding that overpopulation and education are key factors for curbing poverty.

Social Solidarity Minister Ghada Wali stressed that Decent Life Initiative can never attain its goals without collective work, citing coordination and cooperation between the ministries concerned in addition to the role of civil society organizations and the private sector.

She urged the private sector to invest in such poor villages through its CSR role and this will be profitable, adding that the private sector should work on generating jobs and offering training opportunities for youths in such poor villages.

Meanwhile, Deputy CEO of Schneider Electric Sherif Abdel Fattah said Schneider Electric – which is a French multinational corporation specialized in energy management and automation – has been operating in the Egyptian market for over 30 years and implemented several vital projects.

He  referred to key electricity projects accomplished by the company in the New Administrative Capital as well as Jalala water desalination station, adding that the company is working on two other stations in Al Alamein and Eastern Port Said.

He also referred to cooperation with the Electricity Ministry to develop the electricity grid nationwide, especially in the Upper Egypt governorate of Assiut.

He hailed the new investment law which urged companies to allocate part of its profits for CSR activities, noting that as a foreign company investing in a state, there should be a share for social projects.

Schneider Electric was one key contributors to Decent Life Initiative which was launched in January 2019, he said, noting that the company made use of a recent visit by the French president to Egypt to sign a cooperation protocol with the Social Solidarity Ministry to select five most vulnerable villages to secure all basic services to them in addition to creating jobs.

He noted that this goes in line with the company’s strategy.

He added that Schneider Electric surpasses just supporting most needy villages by establishing labs for training youths, referring to setting up solar power labs at faculties of engineering at the Universities of Ain Shams, Helwan and Alexandria.

He also noted that the company is cooperating with the Ministry of Communications and IT, referring to the establishment of  a lab in Alexandria’s Borg el Arab.

The company has also a plan to cooperate with an institute in Moscow to establish labs in the Upper Egypt governorate of Aswan.

For his part, Ismail Dawwod Ismail of El Araby Foundation for Social Development said the foundation signed a cooperation protocol with the Ministry of Social Solidarity to contribute to clean water projects in the Upper Egypt governorate of Assiut to serve 65 percent of Assiut people.

The foundation bears the cost of the projects to which it contributes, he said, noting the Assiut projects cost about 13 million pounds.

The foundation will also implement two other water projects in the Upper Egypt governorate of Aswan.

The conference will be an impetus to all companies to play its CSR which is vital for realizing development and attaining the Sustainable Development Goals.

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