Minister of International Cooperation: “Innovation and fintech are key drivers of growth, providing solutions to development challenges.”
Egypt is witnessing great progress in terms of investing in startups and in supporting innovators and entrepreneurs.
Up until the end of 2021, 176 companies that received investments from Egypt Ventures.
Development financing agreements secured by the private sector from multilateral and bilateral development partners during 2020 and 2021 amount to about $5 billion.
The Minister of International Cooperation, H.E. Dr. Rania A. Al-Mashat gave the keynote speech at the panel discussion on “Beyond Recovery: the Resilience and Sustainability of the Emerging Fintech Solutions”, as part of the annual meetings of the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) held in Sharm El-Sheikh under the patronage of H.E. President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, as part of the 2022 IsDB Private Sector Forum.
The session was attended by Al-Mashat; Ayman Sejiny, the CEO of the Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector (ICD); Hossam Ezz, the CEO of Fawry FMCG; Maged Shawky Sourial, the Chairman and Managing Partner of Catalyst Partner Holding; Nelly Mahmoud, the Chief Communication Officer and Head of Youth Beyond Banking & Financial Inclusion Egyptian Gulf Bank; and Ahmed Hammouda, the Co-Founder of Thndr.
In her speech, Al-Mashat stressed that innovation, fintech and projects launched by entrepreneurs are key drivers for growth; providing innovative solutions in various fields. H.E. added that the Ministry of International Cooperation works with multilateral and bilateral development partners to strengthen partnerships within this sector, supporting young innovators and entrepreneurs as major contributors in accelerating development.
The Minister explained that the development financing agreements secured by the private sector from multilateral and bilateral development partners during 2020 and 2021 amounted to about $5 billion, whether through direct financing of private sector companies or indirectly through the provision of credit lines to commercial banks for re-lending to SMEs. This was secured through partnerships with the IsDB, the European Investment Bank (EIB), the African Development Bank (AfDB), the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), and others.
Moreover, Al-Mashat added that the Ministry is working to provide technical support, expertise exchange, and technology, through cooperation with multilateral and bilateral development partners. This is in line with the Government of Egypt’s development agenda and the objectives of the economic and structural reform program that aim to increase private sector engagement in development efforts; stimulating growth and employment rates.
To foster an innovation-centric approach, the Ministry of International Cooperation is also supporting Fintech startups via its first government-backed Venture Capital Fund “Egypt Ventures” in partnership with the General Authority for Investment and Free Zones (GAFI) and in cooperation with development partners. Up until 2021, over 176 startups received either direct investments from Egypt Ventures or indirect investments through its accelerators (Falak Startups and the EFG-EV Fintech Accelerator, which represents an innovative model of public-private partnership being co-lead with one of the leading player in the financial sector, EFG Hermes).
The Minister also emphasized that empowering the private sector, and increasing its role in achieving development, comes at the forefront of the Government of Egypt’s commitments.In that context, Al-Mashat explained that the Ministry of International Cooperation aims to strengthen discussions with multilateral and bilateral development partners, so as to stimulate innovative financing tools, thus increasing private sector participation in development projects, particularly in the green transition.
Al-Mashat added, “I recently witnessed, with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the launch of Egypt’s first Impact Investment Fund by Catalyst Partners Egypt (CPE) with target capital of EGP 1 billion, reflecting constructive partnerships between development partners and various entities in Egypt.”