Catching up in Cairo

From mid-2012 to the beginning of 2013, the first Egyptian managers participated in the Manager Training Programme (MP) in Germany. The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) issued invitations to a follow-up meeting in Cairo – and most Egyptian alumni accepted.

Cairo. For one manager group it had been six months since they had attended training in Germany, and around 18 months had passed for the pilot group. Enough time to draw conclusions about the advantages of participation in the programme. The effects on business in particular were more than satisfactory. Despite the ongoing problematic domestic political situation in Egypt, MP participants concluded business deals for the import and export of goods amounting to a total of around 5.5 million euros.

Many managers applied ideas from Germany to change processes in their companies. The programme considerably raised their awareness of the importance of the human resource facto. In response MP alumni have begun involving their employees in decision-making processes more and investing in human resource development, such as through training. The managers learned about these models on a visit to North Rhine-Westphalian companies. Negotiations with potential business partners also inspired many to increase their product quality.

The goal of the event in Cairo was to intensify existing business contacts. Dr Rainer Herret, Managing Director of the German-Arabic Chamber of Foreign Commerce, explained what a foreign chamber of commerce (AHK) can do to help. He sees the Manager Training Programme as: “a lighthouse project in German-Egyptian cooperation.” The services provided by the AHK for market research and to support the search for potential partners for new business areas were received with great interest.

The GIZ country office is also located in Cairo. Country Director Dr Thomas Engelhardt was glad to take advantage of the opportunity to present the GIZ’s activities in Egypt. These focus on the working fields of water supply and distribution, renewable energies and administration.

The Carl Duisberg Centres (CDC) from Cologne organized both trainings in Germany. During the Cairo event, CDC Project Leader Jörg Kalmbach ran a training seminar on networks. This inspired participants from both groups to found an Egyptian Alumni Club. Frank Nichte – responsible at the BMWi for the MP with Egypt – feels that the results achieved exceeded the expectations of the pilot group. This is a very positive place from which to start negotiations for the continuation of the MP with Egypt starting in 2015 at the first ever meeting of the German-Egypt steering group. Currently cooperation is based on a government declaration from December 2011 for the time period from 2012 to 2014.