HLB Egypt-Makary Consulting conducted and organised the “Knowledge Sharing Conference for Cluster Development Stakeholders in Egypt” on May 10th, 2016 at the Nile Ritz-Carlton Hotel Cairo. The conference was organised to present the findings of three studies under the “Support to Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises in Organic Clusters Project” implemented by the Social Fund for Development (SFD), with support from the African Development Bank (AfDB) and financing from the MENA Transition Fund.
The main study “To Conduct Mapping of Organic Clusters in Egypt” was conducted and presented by HLB Egypt-Makary Consulting, in cooperation with PlaNet Finance Egypt and Cluster House of Serbia. This entailed defining Organic Clusters and identifying them in all governorates in Egypt; mapping the identified clusters on an updatable interactive IT map; developing the criteria to rank them and shortlisting 10 clusters; conducting needs assessment reports to select six potential clusters for future development, and providing capacity building to a team from SFD.
The other two studies were related to international best practices in cluster mapping and development, and diagnosis of carpet clusters in Egypt. These were respectively conducted and presented by Mr. Mukesh Gulati – the Executive Director of Foundation for MSME Clusters in India and Mrs. Akila Rifaat – Management and Development Consultant.
The conference was attended by AfDB and SFD top management, as well as more than 160 participants from different key active stakeholders related to the cluster development field in Egypt. These included representatives from international organisations such as the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), International Labor Organization (ILO), the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), the European Investment Bank (EIB), and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), as well as active Egyptian institutions such as the Federation of Egyptian Industries (FEI), the Egyptian Banking Institute (EBI), the Industrial Modernisation Centre (IMC), and the Egyptian Export Council for Handicrafts (EECH), the Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS), and several business associations and product-specific technology centers and development associations. This is in addition to prominent officials and individuals in the field, and media representatives.
The conference’s success and importance of its outcome were acknowledged by all participants who considered the conference as the first step towards cluster development in Egypt.