14 August 2018
MIIC, MCIT Sign Protocol to Promote Egypt Regional Position in Entrepreneurship and Investment

The Minister of Investment and International Cooperation Sahar Nasr and the Minister of Communications and Information Technology Amr Talaat have signed a cooperation protocol aimed at creating a supportive environment for entrepreneurship; developing innovative young people capabilities; attracting international investments in ICTs; stimulating investment for startups; and promoting technological innovations that help integrate and empower People with Disabilities (PwDs). The cooperation protocol is part of the Egyptian government's efforts to support innovative young entrepreneurs and provide them with tools to develop their potentials, thus, enhancing their chances of competing in the global markets.

The protocol aims to enhance cooperation between the two ministries through forming a joint technical committee that will create a supportive business environment targeting an economy based on IT innovation, empower Egyptian youth to develop their creative capabilities, and stimulate the local and international private sector and international financial institutions to invest in companies. It also aims to develop the entrepreneurial environment that will qualify Egypt to be a regional hub for entrepreneurship in Africa and the Middle East.

The protocol entails 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 entities and institutions. A complete value chain will be constructed, covering all phases of development and growth of startups through integrating roles and benefiting from the entrepreneurship programs and initiatives implemented by the two ministries. These programs include an entrepreneurship platform: Fekretak Sherketak (your idea is your enterprise), Egypt Innovate platform, TIEC Entrepreneurship Accelerator (TEA) program— launched by the Technology Innovation and Entrepreneurship Center (TIEC), affiliated to Information Technology Industry Development Agency (ITIDA)— Falak company—a start-up accelerator— and the Egyptian Entrepreneurship Investment Company (EEIC).

The protocol aims to develop a clear strategy to support the digital economy in Egypt, with focusing on enabling digital infrastructure, financial technology services, digital entrepreneurship and digital skills embedded in digital platforms. This is in addition to enhancing joint co-operation to increase access to non-banking financial services, especially the micro funding services via ICTs through the post network.

The Protocol also focuses on the need to examine and implement the necessary legislative reforms to support the digital economy and the participatory economy, benefiting from international experts to hold joint workshops on specific topics, and conducting joint capacity-building workshops. This is in addition to learning the latest global practices for developing business of startups and how these practices can be implemented in Egypt;  enhancing cooperation between the two sides to raise awareness about financing startups; and hosting the events of the major international innovation and entrepreneurship summits in Egypt.

In addition, the Protocol includes integrating PwDs into society and promoting exchange of experiences and transfer of knowledge in cooperation with external actors with expertise in ICT accessibility and assistive technology, to support innovation among young people and produce technological solutions and applications that enable PwDs to receive available services and facilitate communication with them.

This is in addition to developing a database that consists of all information related to investment funds, various financing institutions and financing means available to founders and startups and launching a joint international promotional campaign for marketing Egyptian technology startups. The protocol also aims to attract foreign investment and relevant international actors; launch joint promotional campaigns nationwide for "Fekretak Sherketak" initiative and "Egypt Innovate" initiative by using " Fekretak Sherketak” bus, jointly sponsored by the two ministries.

The Minister of Investment pointed out that the protocol includes many positive points, including the presence of representatives of the two ministries and their affiliated bodies, at investors services centers, citizens service centers and technology parks to provide different services for the two ministries, including companies’ incorporation services, business development services, training programs and incubators services and all types of support.

Nasr ascertained that over the past two months, the working team of the two ministries has sought to reach this protocol, pointing out that the Ministry of Investment aims to invest in the ICT sector, especially after the recent legislations issued, including the Investment Law. She stated that investment opportunities in the ICT sector will be within Egypt's investment map.

She said that the Ministry of Investment is keen to combine the two ministries’ experiences in the field of entrepreneurship, highlighting the significance of the participation of the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT) in Africa Forum 2018 which will be held under the auspices of President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi, in Sharm El-Sheikh, in December.

Nasr thanked the ICT Minister for MCIT role in activating the connection between the Investors Services Center and its branches nationwide during the last period.

For his part, Talaat said that the protocol is based on cooperation in three main areas, including consolidating efforts to attract new investments in the ICT sector, highlighting that the sector enjoys many major investment opportunities, expertise and qualified calibers. The protocol also includes the promotion of innovation and entrepreneurship, using international expertise and learning about other countries’ achievements in the field of supporting PwDs via ICTs.

Talaat said that the e-platform of “Egyptinovate.com” will serve as one of the unified digital platforms for innovation. The startups nominated and recommended by the incubators and business accelerators of the two ministries will be enlisted according to their appropriate path till reaching the final phase of selecting the qualified startups to join business accelerators. Talaat hailed the development made to the Investor Services Center of the Ministry of Investment and International Cooperation, pointing out that it is a typical center for service provision.

The signing ceremony was held at MCIT, in Smart Village, attended by EEIC Chairman Shehab Marzban, Advisor to Minister of Investment for Investment Map Affairs Malek Fawaz and Advisor to Minister of Investment Mostafa Ghaly, from the part of the Ministry of Investment and International Cooperation. From the part of MCIT, the meeting was attended by ITIDA Acting CEO Maha Rashad, Head of Communications and Infrastructure Sector Raafat Hendi, and ICT Minister’s Advisor for Social Responsibility and Services Abeer Shakweer.

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