Communications Minister meets group of entrepreneurs, emerging tech company founders

11 April 2023

Minister of Communications and Information Technology Amr Talaat met with a group of entrepreneurs and founders of emerging technology companies, as part of the activities of "Startups Day… Continuous Communication" organized by the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology at the Digital Egypt Innovation Centre – Sultan Hussein Kamel Palace.

In his speech, Talaat confirmed that the global start-up market is about $3trn, adding that the emerging companies sector is one of the main pillars in all economies, whether in developed countries with major economies or in countries with emerging economies.

He explained that there has been a global decline in venture capital investments in emerging companies over the past two years. He pointed out that the rate of decline in investments in this sector during the first quarter of this year amounted to more than 54% at the global level as a result of the economic and geopolitical crisis and the rise in interest rates.

Talaat pointed to the decline in investments in startups in the Middle East, North Africa, Turkey and Pakistan during the first quarter of this year by 70% compared to the first quarter of last year, which constitutes a challenge for all elements of the system, whether startup companies, and the rest of the supporting elements, whether government or civil work organizations.

He explained that Egypt achieved a growth in investments in emerging companies in the telecommunications and information technology sector, at a rate ranging between 3-4% during 2022 compared to the previous year, despite the decline in growth at the regional level. Egypt also occupied the first place in the North Africa and the Middle East region in the number of investment deals in startup companies during the year 2022, which proves the ability of companies to innovate and provide valuable solutions. He added that Egypt achieved growth in the first quarter of 2023, and occupied the second place in the North Africa and the Middle East region in the volume of deals.

He reviewed the efforts of the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology to support emerging companies through four axes, the first axis: access to the government sector through marketing access to conduct commercial operations with the government sector, or to facilitate the procedures required by various agencies. He explained that after the previous meeting with entrepreneurs last year, cooperation began with the Investment Authority, the Ministry of Finance, the tax and customs authorities, and the Financial Regulatory Authority to facilitate procedures for startups.

Cooperation is also currently underway with the Investment Authority to facilitate the establishment of virtual companies without a headquarters, and to allow the registration of the headquarters of startup companies in one of Egypt's digital innovation centres. Cooperation is also underway with the Tax Authority to facilitate tax transactions procedures.

He pointed out that the second axis is access to capabilities by providing a set of training programs and initiatives to inject more trained cadres into the labour market required by major international and local companies and startups. The "Skills Bank" will also be made available through ITIDA, which includes human resources. 

He explained that work is underway to establish a laboratory for creating government applications in cooperation with the German Foundation for International Cooperation (GIZ) in the Digital Egypt Innovation Centre, Giza, through which a group of startups will be invited to design programs that will be used in various government work procedures, and upon success, they will be contracted. Cadres of emerging companies on the needs of government agencies in terms of applications and solutions.

He added that the third axis is represented in accessing foreign markets through exhibitions that are held abroad to provide an opportunity for companies to display their products and solutions. He added that qualitative networking forums will be organized through which startup companies and entities working in each sector will be invited to facilitate the access of these companies to all sectors.

The fourth axis is access to investments through cooperation with the Central Bank and the Investment Authority to provide investment funds for startup companies to facilitate investment in these companies, whether in terms of procedures or in terms of obtaining financial resources.

In addition, a contract was signed with the "Plug and Play" company to manage the Digital Egypt Creativity Center – Sultan Hussein Kamel Palace and the "500" Egypt Program to manage the Digital Egypt Creativity Center – Giza to localize these experiences in Egypt, develop investments in emerging companies, and increase the number of companies that are incubated in Centres, and training young people from different governorates to manage Egypt's Digital Creativity Centres.

Source: Daily News

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