Cairo, Egypt- Luca Maestripieri, director of “The Italian Agency for Development Cooperation” (AICS) is currently in Egypt from Saturday June 15th, 2019 until June 18th where he visited several AICS’s financed projects in the country and confirm Italy’s role as Egypt’s strategic partner. The Italian Cooperation in Egypt is present since twenty years, and it has a portfolio of around 250 Million of Euros of on-going programmes.
Maestripieri Maestripieri met with Governmental officials to stress on the importance of the Italian-Egyptian relations. He also met with representatives of the European Union, important development partner. Maestripieri is accompanied during his meetings and field visits by Felice Longobardi, head of AICS Cairo and AICS team. Maestripieri’s visit to Egypt that lasted for four days, comes at the beginning of his first tour to the agency’s countries offices since his appointment as the new head of AICS in May 2019.
On Sunday June 16th, Maestripieri met with the representatives of the Italian NGOs to discuss the activities taking place, the perspectives on challenges and opportunities for non-governmental organizations in Egypt, as well as the country’s ongoing process to revise the NGOs law. Maestripieri also met as well with representatives of the European Union- Joint Rural Development Programme that is managed technically and financially by AICS under the European Neighborhood Programme for Agriculture and Rural Development (ENPARD), to stand upon the latest achievements of the programme that is running in Matrouh, Minya & Fayoum. The programme aims at improving the quality of life of the people living in the rural areas of the three governorates while focusing on the sustainable management of local resources.
On June 17th, AICS Director Maestripieri visited El Fayoum Governorate where he met the governor Dr. Esam Saad and he had the opportunity to visit the following AICS's funded projects:
• “Empowering Women in Fayoum Rural Areas” (EWFRA) financed under the Italian-Egyptian Debt Swap Programme and implemented by the Fayoum Agro Organic and Development Association (FAODA) in Behmo village . The project targets unemployed household women and girls, with the aim of promoting women empowerment, enhancing the socio- economic status of rural families and achieving women’s economic development.
• “EU-Joint Rural Development Programme (EU-JRDP)”. The programme, using a partecipatory approach and worth 22 million Euro, is financed by the European Union and it is implemented by MAECI-DGCS with the technical support of AICS Il Cairo. AICS Director visited two components of the programme, the infrastructure works in the irrigation canal of baher biahmou and Improving on-farm irrigation in Fayoum (Bahr Biahmou and Awlad Mohamed areas).
• Maestripieri ended his tour in Fayoum Governorate by visiting the Italian funded project “Support to the Egyptian Protected Areas” (SEPA) that is implemented by the UNDP and aims at strengthening the system of the Protected Areas of Egypt, developing sustainable tourism, promoting world-class parks, enhancing the conservation of natural and cultural heritage, and acting as an instrument for the socio-economic sustainable development of the local communities.
In his last day (june 18th), Maestripieri visited Robbiki project, directly implemented by AICS Il Cairo. The initiative aims to support the Training and Services Center built within the Robbiki Leather City - RLC in organizing and launching its training and support activities for tanners through the supply of equipment and through specialized technical assistance from part of Italian experts.