UNDP Egypt and Gemini Africa Partner to Foster Inclusive Growth, Digital Transformation, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship

May 23, 2023


Qena, Egypt - The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Egypt signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Gemini Africa to establish a collaborative framework aimed at enriching the Egyptian innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem. UNDP Egypt Resident Representative, Alessandro Fracassetti signed the MoU with Chairman & CEO of Gemini Africa Eng. Adly Thoma.

The collaboration will facilitate and strengthen cooperation between UNDP and Gemini Africa and includes a wide range of activities with a focus on creative industries including cinema and technology (CinemaTech), arts and culture, innovation, entrepreneurship, digital transformation, green economy, financial technologies (FinTech), assistive technologies, and other related areas. The agenda also sets forth a commitment to support youth, women, people with disabilities, as well as entrepreneurs, and small and medium enterprises (MSMEs).

The signing ceremony was attended by numerous youth and entrepreneurs from the governorates of Qena and Luxor, along with the participating founders of startups in the Gemini Upper Egypt Incubator. This program, currently implemented by Gemini Africa in partnership with the Sawiris Foundation for Social Development, focuses on supporting social enterprises.

Representatives from the United Nations Development Programme office in Egypt, Luxor University, the National Council for Women, Qena cultural palace, as well as other local social entities, organizations, and the Gemini Africa team were also present at the ceremony.

Expressing his enthusiasm, UNDP Egypt Resident Representative Alessandro Fracassetti stated, "I am delighted to be here today to celebrate Phase 2 of the Upper Egypt Incubator program, a significant outcome of the collaboration between Gemini Africa and the Sawiris Foundation for Social Development, and closely aligns with UNDP's vision of supporting entrepreneurship”

He added that, “The Memorandum of Understanding with Gemini Africa will advance Egypt's entrepreneurial ecosystem and support MSMEs through capacity-building and innovative activities, with a particular focus on the creative industries. Through our projects and interventions with various partners, UNDP has supported over 200,000 entrepreneurs and helped establish 200 startups so far."

In response to the partnership, Mr. Adly Thoma commented, "I am extremely proud to have reached this significant moment in our journey with UNDP—a journey that we embarked on together over two years ago. The memorandum will provide a new umbrella for cooperation in various comprehensive aspects, extending our support to cinema and technology (CinemaTech), arts and culture, innovation, social entrepreneurship, and more. Additionally, I am pleased to be signing this agreement here in Qena, one of our targeted governorates for this partnership, where we will be focusing on providing tailored support to aspiring youth in Upper Egypt, offering more opportunities for all."

The event attracted over 70 attendees from the two governorates, most of which are youth. Following the signing ceremony, Fracassetti and Thoma engaged in an open discussion with the youth attendees, to explore their projects, ideas, and the challenges they face in growing their startups. The discussion fostered a shared vision between the two entities, who aim to provide diverse and impactful support to the youth and the overall entrepreneurial ecosystem through specially designed programs that address their needs and overcome challenges in Upper Egypt.

Both Fracassetti and Thoma expressed their appreciation for the ideas presented by the youth and entrepreneurs and commended the efforts.