The Daily News Egypt
Swiss embassy, Egypt’s Ministry of Housing launch urban development project in Qena
The Embassy of Switzerland in Egypt and the Egyptian Ministry of Housing, Utilities, and Urban Communities launched the “Hayenna” (Our District) project, which aims to help local governments in the Upper Egyptian governorate of Qena to improve management of their land and new urban development initiatives and boost related local revenues.
The Embassy of Switzerland in Egypt said in a Sunday statement that the project is valued at $11.8m and it will last from 2018 to 2024, adding, “the contribution of the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) is $8.1m, while the Egyptian government share is $3.6m.”
Hayenna will be implemented in Qena and a second governorate to be determined during the project’s inception phase, noted the statement, adding that the main project partners are the Ministry of Housing’s General Organisation for Physical Planning and UN-Habitat.
Hayenna will provide training to enhance the capacities of 300 state sector employees at the municipal level and 50 state sector employees at the national level.They will be trained on transparent and integrated urban planning and development, including effective land management and design.
The statement noted that the project will also train them on improved local public finance management through application of the betterment levy, a tax collected on land that is rising in value due to public infrastructure investments.
Among the state sector staff benefiting from Hayenna project are employees of the Ministries of Finance and Planning, the General Organisation for Physical Planning, the Land Survey Authority, and the Real Estate Publicity Department.
Hayenna will improve the living conditions of some 60,000 citizens living in the four targeted areas of the project that will undergo more formal and transparent urban development planning. It will also raise land value and result in improved public services. Hundreds of jobs are expected to be formalised or newly created through the project as small and medium private sector activities in the targeted inner-city areas are expanded.
“Switzerland has implemented a series of successful sustainable projects in Upper Egypt in recent years. Together with Egypt’s Ministry of Housing and UN-Habitat, we are looking forward to working with yet another Upper Egyptian governorate, Qena, this time to improve its urban development.We are proud to launch Hayenna project, which will improve the living conditions of more than 60,000 Egyptians,” said Paul Garnier, ambassador of Switzerland to Egypt.
“In addition to its core goals, Hayenna’s activities and achievements will also support ongoing efforts to improve the legal and institutional frameworks related to urban development at the national level. The urban designs for the sites under the project will also aim to ensure safety for Qena’s citizens through better and safer planning of public areas, market spaces, and street lighting,” the statement added.
Hayenna will also be coordinated with UN-Women, which is working on promoting safe cities and ensuring that women and girls are able to participate freely in public affairs and engage in economic development activities, mentioned the statement.