Speakers at the inaugural roundtable session included H.E. Dr. Laila Eskandar, Minister of Urban Development and Planning, Mrs May Abdel Hamid, Chairman, Mortgage Finance Fund, Mr. Hussein Mansi, Chief Executive Officer, Lafarge Egypt as well as speakers from Arabtec and DMG Group.
The roundtable discussion opened by MEED highlighted that there is a severe shortage of social housing in Egypt; currently 16 million individuals are missing adequate housing. Currently, the social housing program aims to offer 1m residential units to low-income citizens at 13 locations across the country with the purpose of achieving social justice.
During the first panel which discussed "Developing Partnerships to Drive Housing Sector", H.E. Dr. Laila Eskandar highlighted that the main challenges in these areas are that 40% of social classes don't fit into the social housing programs from state, due to ID card and where it says you're from has been holding back moving them into the social housing sector.
"Social housing has financial spending issues. We need to give them solutions such as loans to make-up for deficit in an individuals' income, funds also provide financial aid which should not to be deducted from the cost of the unit," said Mrs May Abdel Hamid, Chairman, Mortgage Finance Fund "The main challenges however are that the social housing projects should be well located and have access to public transportation. Previously the projects were built in the desert with seven million inhabitants. Hence we need comprehensive development plans; we need to create cities where jobs are located."
"85% of the population is between classes C to E, these classes are the backbone of the housing sector and we need to be focused so that we can meet their needs. Construction will help propel GDP and further development. Future and investment chances lie in these massive sectors for the masses in Egypt," said Mr. Hussein Mansi "Solution lies in the fact that a company with the know-how and experience can help bring attention to matter, there is a need to bring together all stakeholders and show investors the opportunity for growth and business."
During the first panel which discussed "Showcasing Developments in Egypt - How developers work to deliver social housing in current environment", Mr. Ayman Ismail, Chief Executive Officer, DMG Group explained that the private sector is in need to inject private funds of their own. He highlighted the fact that until there needs to be a model that is created which would allow the private sector to become a player in this.
An Orascom Construction representative used Haram City as an example that others should follow, the flagship project has overcome several problems and provides services needed by the population such as waste management, power substation and water treatment facility. "Building Egypt 2030 is a goal that every Egyptian should embody and work towards achieving. We all must play a role and Lafarge's team in Egypt of over 3,500 will stand alongside the country.
The recovery of Egypt's economy and growth through development which underlie the Building Egypt 2030 campaign is not the responsibility of one sector alone, but rather presents the moment for each and every one of us to unite and shift our focus on the future. It is time for all of us to think about how we can play a role in creating a better future while building Egypt for 2030." concluded Mr. Mohamed Yehia.
The second roundtable session is set to take place in November and will be discussing building roads and infrastructure in Egypt.