Egypt’s AlexBank – a member of Italian bank Intesa Sanpaolo Group – has launched Tuesday a new initiative that aims to promote the Egyptian handcrafts and artworks industry.
Named “Ebda3 Men Masr”, the new initiative is part of the bank’s Corporate Social Responsibility strategy that aims to promote the Egyptian handcrafts and artworks productions, expression of traditions passed over generation by generation, mainly in segregated and remote areas.
In a statement released by AlexBank on Tuesay, the bank said it believes that these are treasures to be preserved and promoted, considering that the beauty and the value of these productions – when known – can be certainly appreciated both domestically and abroad. Therefore, while preserving a vital part of the Egyptian cultural heritage, the success of this initiative can become reason of economic development by providing sustainable income and job creation opportunities, especially amongst youth and women. This would lead to increase entrepreneurial opportunities also in communities appearing nowadays economically and socially underprivileged.
“Sound entrepreneurial activities are a vehicle to improve the quality of life for individuals, families, and communities and are capable to sustain the health of the economy and of the environment.” Dante Campioni, ALEXBANK CEO and Managing Director, said.
“Ebda3 Men Masr aims to target different issues, not limited to the immediate jobs and wealth creation which certainly it wants to favors, but also extended to the preservation of existing skills coming from centuries-old traditions to be passed to younger generations, reviving the national cultural heritage. We strongly believe that this will create value to the Egyptian society and sustainable growth to the national economy.”
The spark of “Ebda3 Men Masr” initiative was conceived by the decision to make the Fayum’s ceramics from Tunis Village as this year exclusive bank’s corporate gifts.
The decision of Sponsoring the recent Tunis Village annual Festival was taken to support the call to limit the import to the Country of unnecessary goods, preferring instead local productions. The level of appreciation for these gifts, while confirming that not always there is the need to look abroad to source attractive products, has encouraged the bank in making this initiative bigger. Soon several initiatives will be put in place to grow the number and kind of products to be promoted and to favor these products reaching the domestic and the international markets.
In addition to the existing cooperation with Tunis Village, AlexBank mentioned other two initiatives. The first launched in collaboration with the Egyptian Network for Integrated Development, (El Nidaa), which aims to support the Egyptian handicrafts and original artwork by providing training to more than 1,000 craftsmen in Upper Egypt, including youth and women in rural communities.
The second developed in collaboration with Fair Trade Egypt to benefit more than 2,000 artisans across Egypt. The project will be articulated across five governorates: Beheira, Fayoum, Qena, Assuit and the Red Sea, with the specific aim to expand export opportunities. To support the initiative, two product collection events will be also organized in celebration of the launch of the summer and winter collection, to promote the cultural heritage and folk tradition handicrafts.