IPMA International Project Management Association
2 March 2016 / 8:08

Project Management in Egypt: IPMA’s member association in Cairo as a linchpin of the Middle-East ?

Egypt has one of the longest histories of any modern country, arising in the tenth millennium BC as one of the world’s first nation states. Considered a cradle of civilisation, Ancient Egypt experienced some of the earliest developments of writing, agriculture, urbanisation, organised religion and central government. Iconic monuments such as the Giza Necropolis and its Great Sphinx, as well the ruins of Memphis, Thebes, Karnak, and the Valley of the Kings, reflect this legacy and remain a significant focus of archaeological study and popular interest worldwide. Management Engineering Society is IPMA’s Egyptian member association based in Cairo.

More and more interested parties in the Middle-East are requesting trainings in project management in Arabic language according to the IPMA’ individual competence baseline. The reason for this is that the common language of project stakeholders in many projects with a purely national and local character in Arabic. English is mainly used by those project managers with international exposure or who had a bi-lingual education. This can be noticed for example in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, in Abu Dhabi and Kuwait where team members prefer to use Arabic as common language instead of English.

Supporting the Management Engineering Society in Cairo to increase IPMA visibility in the Middle-East could be considered as a natural move in the right direction. This is even a necessity in a context where the benefits of IPMA’s standards International Competence Baseline, Organisational Competence Baseline and Project Excellence for the PM community in the region can and should be spread to move the PM profession forward. The Egyptian member association certifies around hundred project managers per year and the demand from candidates in the region is presently growing. Furthermore, with its 20 million inhabitants, Greater Cairo is the largest metropolitan area in the Middle East and the Arab world, and 15th-largest in the world, and is associated with ancient Egypt, as the famous Giza pyramid complex and the ancient city of Memphis are located in its geographical area. Cairo’s metro, one of only two metros on the African continent (the other Algiers), ranks among the fifteen busiest in the world, with over 1 billion annual passenger rides. The economy of Cairo was ranked first in the Middle East in 2005.

The Egyptian government, announced in December 2014 the launch of a series of mega projects with the aim of improving Egypt’s economy, which is in dire straits. These projects include but are not limited to: the Suez Canal axis development, the north coast development project, the golden triangle and, last but not least, infrastructure and road renovation projects. Previous governments either ignored such projects as they unrelentingly pursued speculative neoliberal economic policies, or failed to implement them as a result of poor planning and a lack of executive decisions. According to the Egyptian economist Noam Khalid, these projects need external financing as Banks are already staggering under the huge burden of the government budget deficit (EGP 250 billion), of which they funded 50 percent for the previous fiscal year (2013/2014), with the Central Bank of Egypt funding the rest.

Meeting in Cairo IPMA and Management Engineering Society 28 February 2016


Project management competences need to be developed in all areas of economy. Only a few courses are available universities of Egypt, mainly in Engineer studies. The vision of the Management Engineering Society is to promote and improve the competence of organizations to create the conditions to help projects succeed. More and more candidates from the Middle-East would like to better understand the four level certification system of IPMA. Very often, they rely on associations outside their countries. The Egyptian association is committed to help these candidates prepare for certification both in Arabic and English language. Looking at the pyramids and contemplating this world wonder, it can only inspire achieve great things further. So let´s keep posted and support the Management Engineering Society to act as a catalyst in promoting IPMA standards in Egypt and the region.

One of the top 10 present Mega present in the Middle-East: the Mall of Egypt in Cairo


  • emad sabri says:

    Gentlemen: I’m very interesting in getting more details concerning the four level certification system of IPMA.


    Emad Sabri

    • Amin Saidoun Amin Saidoun says:

      Dear Emad,
      meanwhile we have made public our standards you can download and purchase in hardcopy via our website shop under IPMA products.
      please have a look at it and choose ICB product our standard for project programme and portfolio management.
      Kind regards,

  • Henk Lok says:

    Very interesting article which provides some remarkable insights!

  • Henk Lok says:

    Regarding modern Middle Eastern societies, despite ideological/political/religious difficulties, do you see any possibilities of cooperation on the exchange of knowledge and cooperation of infrastructural projects with Israel? E.g. offshore oil/gas exploration and exploitation, harbors and docking, even further expansion of the Suez canal, desalination, irrigation and de-desertification (of the Sinaï peninsula)? Jointly building economies fosters peace…

    • Amin Saidoun Amin Saidoun says:

      Dear Henk,
      we like the idea to use project management to overcome political and other difficulties. So far we have no experience in that region with this type of projects. So we would be interested indeed.Looking forward to your proposal.
      Kind regards,

  • soufi says:

    I really find this article very instructive in a sens that it show the great effort made by the Egyptian PMA to settle an NCB with the arabic language which is not a simple task.
    Egypt is in fact a beautiful and a historical country not only in the touristic domain but also in the islamic history with a lot of vestiges and very ancient mosques.
    The river of Nile is also a very romantic place to visit during the staying in Cairo one of the greatest city in the middle east and north Africa
    I say bravo to the colleges from the Egyptian PMA

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Amin Saidoun

Author of this post

Amin Saidoun is Executive Director of International Project Management Association, an international federation of project management associations around the world. Amin Saidoun, is an economist and graduate from London School of Economics and Political Sciences. He is a project manager who gained his 20 years of experience in international projects both in medium sized and multinational organisations in auditing, consulting and the logistics domain. As Executive Director of IPMA, he is in charge of the area Finance and Administration, Business Development of IPMA activities in Africa and the Middle-East and involved is various internal development projects and governance. He is author and co-author on various project management and business administration related articles. Among his areas of interest: intercultural project management