Eco – Fady Labib : On 30 August 2018, Egypt and the International Finance Corporation (IFC) signed a partnership agreement to support entrepreneurs and emerging companies in Africa, enhance innovation, and boost economic growth. The agreement was signed by the Minister of Investment and International Cooperation Dr. Sahar Nasr and IFC Regional Director for the Middle East and North Africa Mr. Moayad Makhlouf ...
By virtue of this agreement, MIIC and IFC will select 100 promising entrepreneurship companies from all over Africa to connect them with international businessmen and investors, financial institutions and decision makers during Africa Conference 2018 to be held under the auspices of President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi in Sharm El-Sheikh in December 2018.
"This initiative will enhance Egypt's position as a regional hub for attracting entrepreneurs and emerging innovative companies, and will create an enabling environment for such companies all over Africa, thereby help them grow, collect capitals and maximize global reach," stated Dr. Nasr.
The Minister emphasized that Egypt was on the right track to become a leading regional hub for businessmen and to enhance the eco-trading system in the country. She indicated that MIIC, in partnership with the Ministry of Telecommunications and Information Technology, launched "Fekretak Sherketak" initiative in 2017 which provides entrepreneurs with main instruments such as funding and training. In order to further support them, added Dr. Nasr, MIIC established leading companies and business accelerators such as Egypt Ventures, Falak, and EFG (Fintech) through joint investments with the private sector and international financial institutions.
IFC stated that it provided funds worth approximately USD 65 million over the past two years to technology companies and emerging companies in the Middle East and North Africa, besides working closely with leading companies in the field of business accelerators and mutual funds such as Wamda, Flat6Labes and Algebra Ventures.
"Entrepreneurship is fundamental for creating job opportunities, boosting growth and enhancing innovation," said Mr. Sergio Pimenta, IFC Vice President for the Middle East and Africa. "Overcoming obstacles that face emerging companies will enable us to help Africa unleash its economic potential," he added.
"Small enterprises, including emerging ones, are the fundamental basis of most economies in Africa and the Middle East," indicated Mr. Makhlouf. "Governments all over the continent can help in creating job opportunities for their peoples through providing companies with access to capital and guidance," he added.
Further, Mr. Makhlouf pointed out that IFC invested USD 1.2 billion in Egypt in 2018, which is considered its highest investment rate in the MENA region, particularly after taking several procedures for improving the investment environment. He mentioned that the agreement was the best opportunity for creating job opportunities and eliminating obstacles that face entrepreneurs and young people. He also explained that Egypt's growth rate had become 5.8%, which would be increased by eliminating obstacles facing small investors and increasing job opportunities.