The Ministries of Communications and Information Technology and Investment and International Cooperation signed a cooperation protocol aimed at creating a supportive environment for entrepreneurship, developing innovative youth capabilities, attracting global investments in the ICT (International Telecommunication, Information Technology, Networking, Computing, Satellite and Broadcasting Trade Fair and Forum for the Middle East and Africa) and stimulating investments in emerging companies.
This comes as part of the Egyptian government’s efforts to support innovative young entrepreneurs and providing them with the tools to develop their potential, thus enhancing their chances of competing in international markets.
Under the protocol, cooperation and integration frameworks between the two ministries will be activated through the formation of a joint technical committee to create a supportive business environment aimed at an economy based on information technology innovation, empowering young people to develop their creative capacities, and stimulating the local and international private sector, international financial institutions to invest in emerging companies, and developing the entrepreneurial environment that will qualify Egypt as a regional hub for entrepreneurship in Africa and the Middle East.
The protocol includes the development of a joint strategy to attract foreign and domestic investments in the field of ICT in Egypt, including the establishment of special investment zones for start-ups and their supporting institutions and the construction of a full value chain covering all phases of the development and growth cycle of emerging companies through the integration of roles and entrepreneurship programmes and initiatives implemented by the two ministries, including Your Idea, Your Company for entrepreneurship, Egypt’s e-Creativity Platform, the Business Acceleration Programme at the Information Technology Industry Development Agency (ITIDA), and ‘Falak incubators.’
The protocol provides for the development of a clear strategy to support the digital economy in Egypt, with emphasis on enabling digital infrastructure, financial technology services, digital entrepreneurship, and digital skills embedded in digital platforms, and co-operation to increase access to non-banking financial services, by utilising the mail network.
The protocol also provides for the need to examine and implement the necessary legislative reforms to support the digital economy and the participatory economy, use international experts to hold joint workshops on specific topics, conduct joint capacity-building training courses and learn the latest global practices for business development and implementation in Egypt.
Minister of investment and international cooperation, Sahar Nasr said that the protocol includes the promotion of Egypt’s investment map and its investment opportunities especially in the ICT sector and the joint development of the joint platform Your Idea, Your Company through a joint database that supports emerging companies, small and medium enterprises, in addition to developing a database of all the information about mutual funds, various financing institutions, and financing available to founders and start-ups.
In addition, they will launch a joint international promotional campaign to market Egyptian start-up technology companies, attract foreign investments, and relevant international actors, launch joint ventures for the platform and other initiatives.
The minister pointed out that the protocol includes many positive points, including the presence of representatives of the ministries and their affiliated bodies in the centres of investors’ services, citizens’ service centres and technology parks to provide different services for the ministries, establishment services, business development services, training programmes, incubators and all kinds of support.
Nasr stressed that the ministry aims to invest in the ICT sector, especially, after the recent legislations issued, including the investment law. She explained that investment opportunities will be put in the ICT sector within Egypt’s investment map, with cooperation in the free zones.
For his part, minister of communications and information technology, Amr Talat said that the protocol is based on cooperation in three main areas, with a focus on the consolidation of efforts to attract new investments for the ICT sector
He explained that the egyptinnovate.com platform will operate as one of the standard digital platforms for innovation, where the proposed start-ups will be introduced by the incubators and business accelerators of the two ministries, according to the appropriate path to the final stage of the selection of entrepreneurs.