Investment in innovators and start-ups in tech sector could be a game-changer for Egypt’s digital ambitions
Smart Village, Egypt, 19 July 2023 – The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Information Technology Industry Development Agency (ITIDA) affiliated to the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology, signed a new project agreement today in Cairo’s Smart Village.
Alessandro Fracassetti, UNDP Egypt Resident Representative, joined Eng. Ahmed Alzaher, CEO, Information Technology Industry Development Agency (ITIDA) to sign the new agreement.
The new five-year project brings financing opportunities and mentorship into Egypt’s tech sector, to its innovators and entrepreneurs, that could open doors to new and exciting advancements, according to Mr Fracassetti.
“With our signatures today, we will embark on the next phase of reinforcing the ICT landscape in Egypt,” says Mr Fracassetti. “This new project helps Egypt to keep pace with both demand and ambition for rapid digital transformation, which has the potential for a multiplier effect on the development goals like economic improvements, climate change mitigation, and boosting women’s economic empowerment.
With the Cairo start-up ecosystem valued at US$8.3 billion, there is untapped potential for talent and ideas to contribute to Egypt’s digital space.”
Startup Genome, an international innovation policy and research firm values the Cairo start-up ecosystem at US$8.3 billion over the period of January 2020 to December 2022.
The new project, “Maturation of ICT-enabled Innovation-driven Entrepreneurship Ecosystem”, is designed to spur growth and bolster the success of ICT entrepreneurs in Egypt. The project will focus on building a resilient, reliable, relevant landscape to foster innovation, ease access to financing flows for start-ups and innovators, and create networks of peers and mentors at various stages of start-up development.
The ambition, according to Eng. Ahmed El-Zaher, Information Technology Industry Development Agency CEO, is to enhance and sustain Egypt’s leadership regarding digital innovation-driven entrepreneurship and propel it towards unprecedented growth.
“We aim to foster an environment that nurtures innovation, empowers entrepreneurs, and drives economic progress,” says Mr. El-Zaher. “This partnership will undoubtedly unleash the full potential of our ever-growing startup community, creating opportunities for sustainable development and a brighter future for all.”
A previous project of UNDP and TIEC of ITIDA, which closed in 2021, resulted in the creation of 31,000 jobs, training and upskilling for 1,550 entrepreneurs, and support to 1,800 start-ups in Egypt.