Promoting an Inclusive Economic Growth in the Post-Covid-19 World: Building Back Better through Sustainable Employment and Impact Investing

1 June 2022; 1:00 - 3:00 PM

Venue: Tonino Lamborghini International Convention Center Sharm El Sheikh (Sinai Hall)


The economic and social divide across societies, businesses and individuals has become more pronounced by the advent of the Covid-19 crisis, as the world has not witnessed this level of rising inequality in decades. Worrying still, is that the true and lasting consequences of the pandemic remains in the horizon. Consequently, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic is highest for the world’s poorest. In 2021, the average incomes of people in the bottom 40% of the global income distribution are 6.7% lower than pre-pandemic projections, while those of people in the top 40% are down only 2.8%. Meanwhile, 163 million more are living on less than $5.50 a day. Globally, three to four years of progress toward ending extreme poverty are estimated to have been lost.

Focusing on empowering and supporting vulnerable enterprises/population (MSMEs, cooperatives, social enterprises, etc.) and leveraging impact investing for such empowerment could be one of the most important mechanism in responding to these development challenges (i.e. rising poverty and widening inequality). As a matter of fact, MSMEs are the largest employers in any given private-sector Economy, including Cooperatives as well as Social Enterprises (part of the Social and Solidarity Economy - SSE) and represent more than 90% of registered businesses in the world, 50% of employment and up to 40% of national income (GDP) in emerging economies. MSMEs/SSE Enterprises are considered to be the building blocks of economies and are critical vehicle for achieving the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) agenda. In addition, supporting these MSMEs and achieving the SDGs in developing countries would need more efforts in resource mobilization and developing innovative finance tools that not only focuses on the return on capital, but also on the social impact of this financing, such as impact investing. Therefore, focusing on Sustainable employment through supporting the MSMEs and leveraging the impact investing as an innovative finance mechanism are one of the main drivers for achieving inclusiveness, sustainability and resilience in the post-covid-19 world.

Key issues to be addressed:

  1. What are the IsDB’s Model and other relevant approaches in tackling poverty alleviation through Economic Empowerment Interventions;
  2. How to leverage funding from the stakeholder’s ecosystem to create “additionality” and benefit the targeted vulnerable population;
  3. What are the key policy responses by governments in protecting vulnerable and small businesses from adverse impacts of pandemic;
  4. What have been some of the successful models of economic empowerment adopted by other development institutions to ensure vulnerable population is adequately protected;
  5. How to make the digitalization work for development and for majority not for the few;
  • Speakers
    • Nada Massoud

      Is the Advisor to the Minister of Planning and Economic Development and Head of the Macroeconomic and Policy Unit, where she led the construction and implementation of Egypt’s National Structural Reforms Program. Nada also served as Senior Economist at the Egyptian Center for Economic Studies. Nada holds a PhD in Economics and Statistics from University of Reading. She is the IsDB Executive Director for Egypt.

    • Matthew Gamser, CEO of the SME Finance Forum

      Matthew Gamser is CEO of the SME Finance Forum. He has over 35 years’ experience in private enterprise and financial sector development. He has worked for IFC for 10 years in various positions, including heading the advisory services for the financial sector in East Asia-Pacific (from Hong Kong). Prior to IFC he worked for 25 years in the private sector in management consulting and technology/small scale industry development. He holds A.B. and A.M. degrees from Harvard University, and M.Sc. and D.Phil degrees from Sussex University (UK), where his work focused on the management of technological change.   

    • Abdul Hakim Elwaer, Assistant Director- General and Regional Representative for the Near East and North Africa, FAO

      Elwaer, a national of Libya, holds a Ph.D. of Philosophy in Environmental Chemistry from Sheffield University, the United Kingdom, and a Post Graduate Diploma in Organizational Leadership from the Gestalt Centre of Organizations and Systems Development in the United States, and a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Engineering and Science Technology from the University of Sabha in Libya.  

      Elwaer served as Secretary of Environmental General Authority (Minister of Environment) of the Government of Libya in Tripoli and was elected President of the African Ministerial Congress on Environment (AMCEN) from 2004 to 2006.  

      Prior to joining the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), he served as Adviser to the President on Global Advocacy and Partnerships at the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, where he also served as the IsDB Spokesperson and Director of Cooperation, Partnerships, Regional Integration and Resource Mobilization from 2014 to 2017. He was further appointed IsDB’s Sherpa at G20 and Heads of Multilateral Development Banks (MDBs).

    • Sabina Alkire, OPHI, Director of the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative (OPHI)

      Sabina Alkire directs the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative (OPHI) at the University of Oxford. Previously, she worked at the George Washington University, Harvard University, the Human Security Commission, and the World Bank. She has a DPhil in Economics from the University of Oxford.  

      Together with Professor James Foster, Sabina developed the Alkire-Foster (AF) method for measuring multidimensional poverty, a flexible technique that can incorporate different dimensions, or aspects of poverty, to create measures tailored to each context. With colleagues at OPHI this has been applied and implemented empirically to produce a Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI).

    • Khemais El Gazzah, Lead Resource Mobilization Specialist, Islamic Solidarity Fund for Development (ISFD)

      Khaemais has long direct experience in export credit and political risk insurance business, but he also involved directly or indirectly in many other related businesses such as trade finance, Islamic trade finance, structured trade finance, project finance, Islamic banking, FDI, takaful insurance, reinsurance & Coinsurance, IT…  

      In 1995, he joined the newly created entity within the IDB Group, the Islamic Corporation for the Insurance of Investments and Export Credits “ICIEC” where he have evolved from a young professional staff in marketing and sales to senior positions in underwriting to become later in 2012 the Chief Operating Officer responsible of managing fully the insurance and reinsurance operations of the institution. He also served four years as the regional coordinator for Africa and the Middle East in the Coface credit alliance association. In 2012 he was elected as the Vice Chair of the Short Term Committee of the Berne Union, a leading association for export credit and investment insurance worldwide. He is representing the IsDB in the Board of Directors of Takaful Re Limited, in the UAE and ACIG in Saudi Arabia.

    • Hussein Abou Bakr

      is the CEO and Founder of Mozare3, the leading Agri-Fintech Platform that partners with small farmers. Mozare3 main products are e-contract farming; financing of Agri-inputs; and digital agronomy support through the app. Mr. Hussein has over 18 years of hands-on commercial and opera7onal experience in Agribusinesses, he holds an MBA from the American University in Cairo