Egypt’s portfolio in innovation, entrepreneurship data $1B

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FILE – Minister Rania al-Mashat

CAIRO – March 25, 2021: According to Minister Rania Al-Mashat, the portfolio of the Egyptian Ministry of International Cooperation in the fields of innovation, digitization and entrepreneurship in 34 projects amounts to 1 billion US dollars.

Al-Mashat said while announcing a partnership between the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and the Egyptian Fintech Association that the Ministry of International Cooperation is seeking to support innovation and entrepreneurship initiatives and achieve the UN SDGs through international partnerships.

The Minister for International Cooperation made it clear that these projects contribute to 13 SDGS.

She reiterated the opportunity for Egyptian businesses to develop labor market mechanisms amid the rise of innovators and entrepreneurs in the FinTech sector.

As previously stated, these projects account for 4 percent of Egypt’s Official Development Assistance (ODA) portfolio.

Earlier Thursday, the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, and the Egyptian FinTech Association announced their partnership to promote entrepreneurship in financial technology (FinTech) to promote private sector economic growth in Egypt.

The Ministry of International Cooperation made it clear that IFC is working with the association to improve the business environment for entrepreneurs in the FinTech sector and to conduct research and market analysis to identify the challenges and barriers facing entrepreneurs. They also develop awareness-raising campaigns for industry stakeholders to raise awareness of the importance of the sector and the barriers it has encountered.

The Minister for International Cooperation, Rania A. Al-Mashat, praised the cooperation between the IFC and the Egyptian FinTech Association in the context of strengthening multilateral and bilateral relations between development partners and stakeholders in the Egyptian FinTech sector. This partnership focuses on improving the environment for entrepreneurship in Egypt and achieving the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Al-Mashat stated, “COVID-19 is a catalyst for change in all sectors. The Egyptian government will digitize its economic ecosystem and work towards sustainable recovery. The Ministry of International Cooperation focuses on engaging the private sector through multilateral and bilateral partnerships in the hope of achieving a resilient, innovative and inclusive reform strategy. “

The minister added that the fourth industrial revolution changed the way societies work. Technological progress has become a fundamental factor in many industries and areas, particularly the financial sector. The digitization of the financial sector is a catalyst for the restructuring strategy initiated by the Egyptian government to maintain economic and social development. She pointed to Egypt’s drive to be a regional pioneer in the entrepreneurship scene by focusing on private sector engagement and support for startups and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), particularly in the financial technology field.

IFC helps the Egyptian FinTech Association stimulate and advance the FinTech sector by sharing global experiences and supporting knowledge sharing with a view to political dialogue, given the vitality of technological innovation and its role in enhancing financial inclusion.

This partnership is part of the IFC’s FinTech Acceleration Program, which is supported by the Dutch government. The collaboration falls within their development portfolio in Egypt as well as the Middle East and North Africa to support innovation and entrepreneurship.

Egyptian FinTech Association Chairman Sherif Samy said Egypt is experiencing a rapidly evolving fintech sector “driven by a number of proactive regulatory initiatives and attractive demographics, as well as growing interest from local and regional investors.”

Walid Labadi, IFC Country Manager for Egypt, Yemen and Libya, said: “The pandemic has highlighted the importance of fintech in solving longstanding development challenges such as financial inclusion. Young entrepreneurs have the potential to leverage fintech solutions and become a driving force for sustainable economic development and job creation, ”said Walid Labadi, IFC country manager for Egypt, Yemen and Libya. “Strengthening the entrepreneurship ecosystem in support of these efforts is a strategic priority for IFC in Egypt.”

IFC is a member of the World Bank Group and is responsible for financing and developing the private sector. SE Al-Mashat reiterated that “2021 is the year of private sector engagement” through international partnerships, in particular environmentally friendly financial instruments and the financing of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).