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Alexandria Business Association
Activities and Programs

1-  Advocacy-related to business and economic issues-undertaken ‎in co-operation with other bodies in the Egyptian civil society.‎
This is accomplished through:‎
a- Corresponding with government officials on behalf of its ‎members to solve their problems.‎
b- Receiving draft copies of government projects before being ‎issued to provide input.‎
c- Presenting  studies and concept papers to the government to ‎strengthen the role of the business community in the economic ‎decision making strategy.‎ABA is engaged  in several advocacy strategies
* Studying Project DecreesABA cooperates with the Egyptian Government by studying new ‎project decrees or amendments on present decrees and views presented ‎by the Association are very highly considered by the  Government   
* Presenting concept paper, suggestion to related Ministries, addressing ‎certain topics of interest to members and suggesting ways for ‎improvement.‎
* ABA – through some of its board members – is represented in several ‎government councils to stand as  the  voice of the private business ‎community
‎2- Providing members with information about the general business ‎environment, with knowledge and know-how, and with keys of ‎access to foreign markets, in order to improve their capability to face ‎the challenges of globalization.‎
This is accomplished through different means:
‎-  Acquire, preserve and distribute valuable business information.‎
‎-  Co-operate and promote relationship with other local and ‎foreign entitities to enhance export, import and investment ‎opportunities.‎
‎-  Organize seminars, events that address economic issues of ‎interest to the business community.‎
‎-  Receive trade leads, business opportunities from different ‎sources and distribute to ABA members. ‎
‎-  Human Resources development; by sponsoring and organizing ‎training courses to upgrade the business capabilities of its ‎members
‎-  Represent members’ interests in international trade and ‎investment  by organizing and receiving trade missions.‎
*ABA also serves its members through 20 different committees ‎addressing a variety of sectors (ex. Export, import, customs, taxation, ‎tourism, industry, investment, etc.)‎
‎3- Social services,  as part of a business community that believes in its  ‎responsibility to improve the welfare of its employees, their working ‎and living conditions, and in shaping the future of their communities.‎
ABA programs include:‎
‎1- Small & Micro Enterprise Project:
ABA is considered one  of the leading NGOs in the field of ‎promoting small and micro enterprises.  It started a ‎comprehensive credit  program for this national purpose in  ‎January 1990.  This program is considered one of the  worlds ‎best practice in Micro Finance this is due to the diversification ‎of different credit programs and the innovations of tools used to ‎achieve its objectives.   ‎
The project is now covering 5 Governorates through 28 branch ‎offices and employing more than 650 staff members.‎The UNDP selected ABA to be the International Technical ‎Service Provider for its Micro start program  in Yemen and ‎Bahrain. The two contracts were for three years.‎
* The Small & Micro Credit Program (Since 1990)‎
This program is mainly targeting the existing micro enterprises ‎‎(up to 5 workers) and the existing small enterprises (6-15 ‎workers) through the provision of successive short term ‎individual micro loans ranging from L.E. 1,000 – 25,000 (US$ ‎‎150 – 3,750). The program maintained a 99 % repayment rate ‎since inception.‎
* Blossoms of Micro Enterprise Program (Since 1999)‎
This program is a poverty lending approach and is targeting the ‎poorest of the poor with specific emphasis on Female-Headed ‎Households. It assists individuals in initiating/expanding income ‎generating activities to improve their living standards. ‎
The blossoms program adopts “Solidarity Group” lending ‎methodology in loan extension. Loans amount ranges from L.E. ‎‎100-500 (US$ 15- 75) ‎
* Towards Self-Employment Program “TSEP” (Since 2000)‎ This is a (GRANT ACTIVITY) aiming at reducing poverty by ‎helping poor people of very low income to start micro ‎businesses. It targets the poorest and most vulnerable sectors of ‎the population particularly women and young people.‎
It  is not a credit program, but it provides seed capital in the ‎form of L.E. 200 (US$ 30) conditional grant to disbursed in two ‎equal payments. ‎This program is totally financed from the contributions of ABA ‎members and other individuals.‎Beneficiaries of this program who sustained their businesses after ‎receiving the second installment are eligible to join the Blossoms ‎program and receive micro loans.‎‏ ‏This program  reached 3,100 ‎beneficiaries with a rate of sustained businesses of 74 %‎In 2001, ABA/ SME Project won the prize of AGFUND on the ‎provision of Micro-Credit through non-government ‎organizations. This AGFUND International Prize is an annual ‎prize awarded by the Arab Gulf Program for United Nations ‎Development Organizations. ‎
‎2- Alexandria Center for International Arbitration:‎
Established in June, 2001.  The Alexandria Center for International ‎Arbitration - an Affiliate of the Cairo Regional Center for International ‎Commercial Arbitration (CRCICA)‎Since lengthy litigation procedures and the various complications ‎arising from business disputes are major impediments facing economic ‎development in Egypt, Alexandria Business Association, being a body ‎dedicated to the service of the business community and the entire ‎Alexandria society, had sought to widen the scope of arbitration and ‎arbitral services afforded to the local and national business community.‎Epediting the resolution  of business disputes is a  major factor in the ‎improvement of the business environment, lowering the cost of ‎conducting business, decreasing associated risk factors and increasing ‎the utilization of capital consequently attracting investment and ‎enhancing economic expansion.‎
‎3- School to Work Project‎
On October 17th, 1999 the Egyptian Ministry of Education and the Alexandria ‎Business Association formed a Partnership that seeks to strengthen vocational ‎education in Alexandria as a model to be replicated in other Governorates in ‎Egypt.‎The Partnership seeks to strengthen technical secondary education and create ‎entry-level ‎‏ ‏job opportunities for technical secondary school graduates. ‎
Technical schools selected for this pilot project to develop their system were: ‎Moharam Bek Hotel and Management School and Roushdy Technical School.  ‎
Many activities and tasks have been carried out in this project; such as giving ‎orientation sessions to teachers and students by the businessmen, providing ‎training and permanent job opportunities for the students and graduates of  ‎these schools, reforming the school syllabi and facilities, providing schools with ‎telephone lines, computers and internet connections for the Job Referral Center ‎located inside each school. A second phase of this project is to be implemented ‎over a period of four years incorporating other major Egyptian cities. ‎
‎4- Mubarak-Kohl Project
In the framework of the Mubarak-Kohl Initiative of October 1991, the ‎German Government emphasized the willingness to assist the Egyptian ‎Government in its efforts to restructure its technical education and ‎training system towards a labor market-oriented one, by introducing a ‎cooperative (dual) system of technical education and vocational ‎training.  The project partners cooperated in introducing a “Dual ‎System of Training” in Alexandria, beginning with training ‎occupations of mechanics, electronics and ready made garments.  ‎Partners in this project are  the Egyptian  Ministry of Education, ‎German Technical Cooperation (GTZ) and the Alexandria Business ‎Association (ABA).‎
ABA’s role in this project is having the RUDS office (Regional Unit ‎for Dual System) located in its premises which covers the entire city of ‎Alexandria.  This office is responsible for looking after students affairs ‎in the factories, marketing the program and several other tasks. ‎The program was able through the past three years to provide over 300 ‎training opportunities to the students enrolled in the Moubarak Kohl ‎school  in ABA Members’ factories and companies.  Through the ‎training provided the students are able to acquire certain skills that ‎resulted in creating a new level of highly skilled labour very much in ‎demand for.  Presently the program covers the following sectors: mechanics, ‎electronics, ready made garments, logistics, office administration.‎
‎5-  Global Learning and Observation to Serve the Environment ‎Project (GLOBE)‎
GLOBE is a worldwide hands-on, primary and secondary school-‎based science and education program.  This program provides the ‎opportunity for students to learn by taking scientifically valid ‎measurements in the fields of atmosphere, hydrology, soils and land ‎cover depending upon their local curricula; reporting their data ‎through the Internet to the student data archive; creating maps and graphs on the free interactive Web site to analyze data sets; ‎collaborating with scientists and other GLOBE students around the ‎world. ‎
‎(For more information on this program please visit: www.globe.govAlexandria Business Association was one of the first Associations ‎that experimented this program in one of Alexandria Secondary ‎schools where the association covered all the costs related to buying ‎computers, printers and preparing computer labs for the students in ‎this school.‎ Nabaweya Moussa school is considered a model to be followed by ‎other schools seeking  to implement the Globe program.‎
‎6- School Desks Project
‎From the perspective of the social responsibilities of ‎businessmen and social development required; the Alexandria ‎Business Association has succeeded through its members to ‎reach a balance between the economical role of Businessmen ‎and their participation in developing their own community, ‎where they practice their businesses.‎The Alexandria business Association and its active role in the ‎city of Alexandria has managed through the collaboration ‎between its Community Service & Foreign Affairs committees ‎in finalizing a contract with the Embassy of Japan in Cairo and ‎obtained a grant of approximately two hundred thousand ‎Egyptian pounds to provide primary public schools in ‎Alexandria with required school desks.‎ The Community Service committee has executed the necessary ‎procedures with the Ministry of Education in Alexandria to ‎provide all primary public schools with the required desks ‎specifically those schools with no financial resources in the ‎outskirts of the city of Alexandria. The total number of desks ‎needed are approximately 12530 desks, for the primary sector.‎
The first phase of the project includes providing primary public ‎schools with 2300 desks and the rest will be provided after ‎signing the second phase of the above mentioned agreement  ‎will provide 3900 desks.‎
‎7- Feeding the Poor Project‎
This project started in September 1999 where the “ Zaka and Charity ‎committee” disburses dry family meals to the poor listed in the social ‎solidarity division where they cover all areas of Alexandria starting ‎from Amreya to Abu Qir.‎
Members of the Charity Committee distribute those meals under the ‎supervision of the Ministry of Social Affairs. ‎The total meals distributed on monthly basis are 800 meals, twice a ‎week every Sunday and Wednesday.‎
‎8- Towards Self-Employment Project
In March 2000, ABA started through the Zaka and Charity Committee ‎‎“Towards Self Employment Project”.  The project targets the poorest ‎and most vulnerable sectors of the society by providing a grant of 200 ‎Egyptian Pounds disbursed on two equal installments.  This project is ‎based on the belief that development must begin with people’s own ‎ideas, and aims at building their skills and utilizing their unemployed ‎time for production approach. This project is executed on a volunteer ‎basis through the Small and Micro Enterprise Program SME.‎
9- Orphans Sponsorship Project
The project has been inaugurated during the month of May 2001.‎The Alexandria Business Association represented by its Zaka & ‎Charity Committee has undertaken and coordinated an agreement with ‎El-Radwan Islamic welfare Association located in Sidi Bishr ‎Alexandria to cooperate in the orphan’s sponsorship project.  The ‎social specialists of El-Radwan Association  study orphans’ cases and ‎report the numbers of orphans’ beneficiaries of such a sponsor. El-‎Radwan Association is sponsoring 113 orphan.  The main purpose of ‎this project is to achieve a specific social standard for this orphan by ‎providing a monthly sponsorship fee in addition to other periodical ‎incentives during  feasts and special events. They also provide medical ‎care until they successfully end their educational phase or obtain a ‎certificate that can provide a sustainable living condition

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