Our research support in Egypt has shifted focus with the country’s changing needs. Early research investments in the 1970s led to improvements in such areas as irrigation, pest control, food processing, water conservation and treatment, and health-care services. 

Following uprisings that swept many Arab countries, we targeted interventions to support transitions to democracy in the region. One example is the work of the Arab Reform Initiative, a network of research centres that develops and tests reforms. From its newly opened office in Egypt, the network helps citizens’ groups and political parties participate in policy dialogues. Several grants also build on women’s rights and political empowerment in the region’s transitions.

Cutting red tape for business

From 2000 to 2009, our research support informed Egyptian policymakers about international trade negotiations and reforms to encourage the growth of micro-, small- and medium-sized enterprises. 

For eight years, IDRC and the Canadian International Development Agency supported training for public servants and government efforts to increase competitiveness. The reforms cut red tape in areas such as customs and income tax. About 3,000 small business owners also learned how to use information and communication technologies more effectively. 

Nile Delta at risk

Rising sea levels along the Nile Delta are at risk of flooding and salt water intrusion due to climate change. This affects the inhabitants, as well as economic activity in the area. 

In 2008, our funding enabled the University of Alexandria to assess the vulnerability of different economic sectors and advise on adaptation options, such as building sea walls and retreating from low-lying areas. With support from IDRC and other partners, the university established the Alexandria Research Centre for Adaptation to Climate Change. This centre of excellence will help to guide the country’s investment in climate adaptation.

Total IDRC Support

211 activities worth CA$31.4 million since 1971

WORLD BANK/ D.Chavez
IDRC-supported research led to reforms that improved Egypt’s business climate. Current research focuses on job creation.

Our support is helping

  • stimulate technology start ups
  • prepare youth for in high-demand jobs in retail, hospitality, information technology, and business outsourcing 
  • detect migration patterns due to climate change along the deltas
  • improve small farmers’ livelihoods with technologies that open supply chains
  • reform civil-military relations to reinforce democracy
  • promote policies to protect minorities like the Kurdish and Amazigh communities, who represent 50 million people in the region

Projects