Egypt has long been a target market with strong indications of an appetite for professional qualifications in particular. This supports the fact that in the Middle East, Egypt has long been regarded as a place of influence for:
- Language - Egyptian is the dominant Arabic dialect
- Culture - Mass market movies and music in the region are predominantly Egyptian
- Education - Engineers, Doctors and Lawyers educated in; or originating from, Egypt are held in high regard across the region
In the last five years however Egypt has faced an unstable economic climate caused by the Egyptian revolution in 2011 and general unrest in surrounding countries. The recent election in 2013 however has led to renewed stability in the country and an influx of inward investment. This has resulted in an infrastructure boom in which several major projects such as the new Suez Canal crossing and ‘’Cairo 2’’ have been constructed, as well as several major malls and downtown retail projects.
On this basis we began preparations some months ago to host the first CIPS event in Cairo. We engaged with three local study centre partners to assist with logistics and promoted the event via our networks, the CIPS website and Social Media.
Our initial expectations and preparations were based on an attendance of 50 – 70 however early registrations exceeded 200 and we had to close the event to any more bookings to ensure the venue could comfortably accommodate all who had already registered.
The evening was a resounding success with over 220 people in attendance. Those in attendance ranged from students, academics and procurement directors for major organisations in Egypt such as the National Bank, BP, PepsiCo, American University Cairo, Besix and Samsung.
We were able to articulate our current activities in the region and re state our aims to build the procurement fraternity in Egypt which was well received by all attendees. In addition to a CIPS update we also hosted a panel discussion on the major ‘’Opportunities and Challenges facing Procurement in Egypt’’. The panel featured five senior procurement leaders from the FMCG, Banking, technology and education sectors. There was lively participation from the audience and we finally had to end the event at 10:30pm.
The feedback was overwhelmingly positive with lots of ideas on how we could engage the community, industry and government at all levels within Egypt. We were also able to appoint a local branch committee to take ownership of local mobilisation and to keep the momentum going.
We held follow up meetings the following morning and also managed to visit two study centres before we returned to Dubai.
The aim is to return in mid-December to launch the next series of engagements and build on some of the discussions and initiatives.
A link to some of the pictures from the event can be found here:- https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.1106840582667590.1073741837.284919261526397&type=3