Public Policy Hub

Description or Abstract

The Egyptian handicrafts sector, which employs more than a million Egyptians, and contributes to local economic growth and to the export market, has a lot of potentials but faces numerous challenges. Aware of the potential of the sector, the Egyptian government is currently focusing on the development of handicrafts, mostly organized as clusters. Nevertheless, artisans face numerous challenges, some of which are related to access to financial resources and raw materials, access to markets especially international ones, access to marketing opportunities, access to technical know-how, among others. Whilst handicrafts production is mostly cluster-based in Egypt, it is highly informal. One of the direst challenges facing handicrafts clusters is the lack of clarity on the roles and mandates of the various stakeholders working in the sector.

To address this challenge, this policy memo recommends three different layers of multi-stakeholder cooperation. At the national level, a ministerial handicrafts clusters steering committee is to be established and led by the Prime Minister. Its administrative arm, the technical secretariat would be led by the Micro-, Small and Medium Enterprise Development Agency (MSMEDA). Also led by the MSMEDA is the operational arm of the national committee, and the executive committee, which would include members from the public and private sectors at the central level. At the local level, local handicrafts clusters platforms (HCPs) would be established and led by the governors in each governorate. These dialogue platforms would ensure coordination between the relevant stakeholders at the decentral level.


Handicrafts Clusters, SMEs. public policy, Egypt, Local Development


Published by The Public Policy Hub - GAPP School (AUC):
Laila El Baradei (PI), Shahjahan Bhuiyan (Co-PI), Mohamed Kadry (Program Manager), Waleed El-Deeb (Senior Specialist), and Ghadeer Ibrahim (Senior Outreach Specialist)

Faculty Advisor

Sherwat Elwan

Content Type



eng|| ara