Egypt's portfolio in innovation, entrepreneurship records $1B



Thu, 25 Mar 2021 - 10:40 GMT


Thu, 25 Mar 2021 - 10:40 GMT

FILE - Minister Rania al-Mashat

FILE - Minister Rania al-Mashat

CAIRO – 25 March 2021: Egypt’s Ministry of International Cooperation portfolio in innovation, digitalization and entrepreneurship stands at $1 billion, through 34 projects, according to Minister Rania Al-Mashat.


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


The Minister of International Cooperation clarified that these projects contribute to 13 SDGS. 


She reiterated the Egyptian economy’s opportunity to develop labor market mechanisms in light of the rise of innovators and entrepreneurs in the FinTech sector.


According to Previous statement, these projects represent 4 percent of Egypt’s official development assistance (ODA) portfolio.


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


Ministry of International Cooperation clarified that the IFC works 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 obstacles entrepreneurs face; in addition, they are developing educational campaigns for industry stakeholders in order to spread awareness about the importance of the sector and the barriers met.


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


Al-Mashat stated that “COVID-19 is a change catalyst across all sectors. The Government of Egypt is set to digitize its economic ecosystem pushing towards a sustainable recovery. The Ministry of International Cooperation is focused on engaging the private sector through multilateral and bilateral partnerships in hopes to achieve a resilient, innovative, and inclusive reform strategy.”


The Minister added that the Fourth Industrial Revolution has altered how societies work; technological advancement has become a fundamental factor in many industries and fields, especially the financial sector. The digitization of the financial sector is a catalyst to the recovery strategy put in motion by the Government in Egypt, aiming to maintain the economic and social development. She pointed out Egypt's endeavor to be a regional pioneer in the entrepreneurial scene, by focusing on engaging the private sector and supporting startups and Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs), especially in the field of financial technology.


The IFC helps the Egyptian FinTech Association to stimulate and advance the FinTech sector by sharing global experiences and supporting knowledge exchange around policy dialogue, in light of the vitality of technological innovations and its role in enhancing financial inclusion.


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


The Chairman of the Egyptian FinTech Association Sherif Samy said that Egypt is witnessing a rapidly developing fintech sector, “driven by a number of proactive regulatory initiatives and attractive demographics, in addition to a growing interest from local and regional investors”


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


The IFC is a member of the World Bank Group and is responsible for funding and developing the private sector. H.E. Al-Mashat has reiterated that “2021 is the year of Private Sector Engagement” through international partnerships, especially green financing tools and financing Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs). 




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