In an effort to improve healthcare in Egypt, IFC recently advised the country’s government on a groundbreaking public-private partnership to build two teaching hospitals in the coastal city of Alexandria.
The deal was the first of its kind in Egypt’s healthcare sector and is expected to help many of the 7.4 million people who live in and around Alexandria.
The agreement, signed in April, will see a private consortium construct and operate a 200-bed obstetrics and gynecology center along with a 224-bed hospital specializing in neurosurgery and nephrology.
“This agreement will expand access to high quality health services to thousands of Egyptians,” says Osama Ibrahim Al-Sayed Ahmad, the president of Alexandria University.
The deal marked the culmination of years of hard work by the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) business line, which has spearheaded several other major PPPs in the region, including a waste-water plant outside Cairo and an airport in Amman, Jordan.
Based in part on that track record, the Egyptian government is looking at similar projects in other sectors, including power and transport.
“This project demonstrates that the private sector can play an important role in extending high-quality basic services to those who need it most,” says Moazzam Mekan, Manager of IFC’s Infrastructure Advisory in the Middle East and North Africa.
The agreements also demonstrate the excellent long-term potential of Egypt’s economy, despite its struggles since a popular uprising in early 2011.
“Despite the current economic challenges, this signing demonstrates that investors have confidence in Egyptian public-private partnerships and the country in general,” says Atter Hannoura, the director of the government unit in charge of PPPs.
The agreement will see Alexandria University and Bareeq Hospitals Company, a consortium comprising Bareeq Capital, Detac, G4S, and Siemens, combine forces to design, finance, construct, and partially manage the new Smouha
and Mowassat university hospitals.