16 May 2022
ICT Minister Delivers Speech during Senate Plenary Session


The Minister of Communications and Information Technology Amr Talaat has delivered a speech during a Senate plenary session.
 
The session was chaired by the President of the Senate Abdel-Wahab Abdel-Razeq. Talaat reviewed the government’s policy regarding the creativity, technological innovation, and entrepreneurship ecosystem to overcome the various challenges facing innovators, entrepreneurs, and all concerned parties in line with the rapid technological developments.
 
Talaat highlighted the state’s keenness to promote technological innovation, and support entrepreneurs and startups to put Egypt on the global map in the field of entrepreneurship. This is in addition to developing the state’s competitive capabilities in the ICT industry, and building Digital Egypt by taking advantage of innovative technological solutions to serve citizens in all fields.
 
The ICT Minister added that fostering and developing digital innovation is one of the pillars of Digital Egypt Strategy, implemented by the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT). Other pillars include digital transformation and digital capacity-building.
 
The ICT Minister explained that a plan is being implemented to establish a CREATIVA Innovation Hubs in each governorate to create an environment conducive to technological innovation, nationwide, support the creation and development of startups’ capabilities, and network among youth, investors, and major international and local companies in supporting innovation and entrepreneurship. The first phase of the project was implemented in 2020 and 2021 and included the establishment of eight Hubs in Menoufia, Mansoura, Minya, Sohag, Qena, Aswan, Ismailia, and Cairo. Currently, the second phase of the project is being implemented, which includes the establishment of 14 Hubs in different governorates.
 
Talaat also explained that cooperation is established with major international companies specialized in technology incubators and business accelerators to manage CREATIVA Innovation Hubs to transfer global expertise, shed light on Egyptian startups, and train employees in running incubation and development programs for startups on the best global practices. This is along with providing training programs for youth, evaluating models and feasibility of their business, providing technical and marketing consultations, and setting up networking forums to attract investments to startups in Egypt.
 
Talaat pointed out that integrated programs are being implemented within CREATIVA Innovation Hubs to foster innovation in all stages. These integrated programs include brainstorming to develop innovative ideas, building an integrated plan in preparation for the establishment of the company, establishing the company, and networking forums to attract investments, incubating companies to provide various consultations and training. Talaat also indicated that during the first phase of the project, about 62,000 trainees were trained; three startups were incubated; and pre-incubation programs were implemented for seven startups.
 
The ICT Minister reviewed the efforts made to support technological innovation and entrepreneurs by attracting reputable international companies in all stages of the startups’ growth.
 
In collaboration with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), a strategy was developed to stimulate innovation-based entrepreneurship in ICT in cooperation with reputable companies, investors, and universities. In addition to launching a special strategy to attract investments in startups in cooperation with Deloitte consultants, specialized programs are also being implemented to foster applied research projects.
 
Talaat explained that the Knowledge City is being established in the New Administrative Capital as an integrated hub for all pillars of technological capacity building and digital innovation, including the Applied Innovation Center (AIC), Egypt University of Informatics (EUI), the Center of Excellence (CoE) for Universal Design and Assistive Technologies (AT), as well as a training facility that includes the Information Technology Institute (ITI) and National Telecommunication Institute (NTI).
 
The ICT Minister emphasized that a plan is being implemented to develop the technology startups sector through two main pillars, which are increasing investments, addressing the challenges facing companies, and developing their action plans. In this context, a protocol was signed with the General Authority for Investment and Free Zones (GAFI) and the Financial Regulatory Authority (FRA) to improve various procedures.
 
The ICT Minister pointed to the prosperity of entrepreneurship and startups in Egypt. The growth rate in startup investments reached about 157%, doubling from $190 million with 117 deals in 2020, to $490 million with 147 deals in 2021.
 
The ICT Minister also noted that international companies represent 32% of all investors in Egyptian startups in 2020. He stated that Egypt ranked second in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) in terms of the number of investments in startups, according to a MAGNiTT report, and second in terms of the entrepreneurial climate in MENA, according to a Wamda report, while it ranked the first in FinTech in the Middle East, according to a report by Blink.
 
Talaat revealed that within the framework of working to improve the work environment and investing in startups, the President of the Republic issued directives instructing the adoption of certain measures, namely, the establishment of companies through digital notices via a platform created for this purpose. This is within the framework of removing all obstacles facing startups and entrepreneurs, and allowing the opening of virtual companies without being bound by the necessity of having physical premises to save expenses and facilitate procedures for these companies.

Moreover, the requirements of establishing a one-person company and expanding the establishment of free investment technology zones as well as tax exemptions for startups are to be facilitated. Also, a whitelist to import electronic components for specialized companies is to be applied.

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