Egyptian Fintech Association Partners International Finance Corporation to Support Local Businesses

The International Finance Corporation (IFC), which is a member of the World Bank Group, and the Egyptian Fintech Association recently teamed up in order to support entrepreneurship in the financial technology sector. Both organizations intend to offer support to the MENA region naton’s private sector development while also promoting economic growth in the country.

As reported by Egypt Today, the Ministry of International Cooperation noted that the IFC works cooperatively with the Association to enhance the nation’s business environment for entrepreneurs focused on the Fintech industry. These initiatives also aim to carry out research and market analysis to identify the key challenges that new business owners might face.

Additionally, these initiatives are focused on promoting educational programs for Fintech sector stakeholders in order to spread more awareness regarding the importance of the industry and how to apply the latest technologies.

Rania A. Al-Mashat, the Minister of International Cooperation, really valued the ongoing cooperation and collaboration between the IFC and the Egyptian Fintech Association. These efforts are aimed at strengthening multilateral and bilateral relations between the different development partners and the Egyptian Fintech industry stakeholders. This partnership also aims to extend support to entrepreneurship in Egypt, while ensuring that the country can achieve the objectives that are part of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Al-Mashat noted that the COVID-19 pandemic serves as “a change catalyst across all sectors.” She added that the Egyptian government is “set to digitize its economic ecosystem pushing towards a sustainable recovery.” Al-Mashat also mentioned that 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 further noted that the Fourth Industrial Revolution has changed how societies function and interact. She pointed out that technological advancement has become a key factor in many different industries, particularly the financial ecosystem. The digital transformation of the financial industry acts as a catalyst to the recovery plan introduced by the Egyptian government. These plans are focused on supporting economic and social development.

She added that Egypt plans to continue its role as a regional pioneer in the entrepreneurial space. The MENA region country will focus on engaging the nation’s private sector and will keep supporting local startups and SMEs, particularly in the Fintech space.

Al-Mashat also noted that the assistance that the Ministry of International Cooperation is looking for (via global partnerships) is mainly focused on supporting innovation and entrepreneurship projects while achieving the specified UN SDGs.

Within the Egyptian Ministry’s current portfolio, there are 34 initiatives focused on innovation, digitalization and entrepreneurship (contributing to 13 different SDGS). She emphasized that the  country’s economy will be supported with efforts to develop appropriate labor market mechanisms that can promote Fintech adoption.

This partnership is reportedly a part of the IFC’s Fintech Acceleration Program, which is also backed by the Government of Netherlands. The ongoing initiative also falls within their portfolio in Egypt and across the MENA region.

The Chairperson of the Egyptian Fintech Association Sherif Samy stated that the country is experiencing steady growth with support from an evolving Fintech industry, “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 and other MENA region countries, remarked:

 “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. Strengthening the entrepreneurship ecosystem to support these efforts is a strategic priority for IFC in Egypt.”

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