Over the past four days, Bibliotheca Alexandrina has embraced the 9th edition of Techne Summit, one of the main entrepreneurial annual events in Egypt and the Mediterranean region, where entrepreneurs, officials, investors and young people aspiring to kick off their careers meet in seminars, workshops and networking events.
During his opening speech, Amr Talaat, Egypt’s minister of communications and information technology, asserted the efforts the state is exerting to enrich the entrepreneurial ecosystem, where he highlighted the incentives provided by the General Authority of Investment for both founders and investors.
“The General Authority of Investment is now working on launching a platform for establishing startups, where any citizen can remotely establish his startup with a capital of EGP1,000 ($32) with no set location required,” Talaat said in his remarks.
Last year, Egyptian startups raised almost $737 million, coming in third place in the Mena region after the UAE and Saudi Arabia, and 10 months into this year, they raised $434.7 million, despite the economic downturn the country witnessed.
When asked about Egypt’s chance to compete with the two main regional players, UAE and KSA when it comes to attracting international investors and tech entrepreneurs, Minister Talaat asserted that Egypt is “well positioned” to be the tech hub of the region.
“The pillar of any ecosystem is the human resources and Egypt possesses a magnificent talent wealth,” Talaat told Wamda, explaining: “Every year, Egypt has 600,000 university graduates, 300,000 STEM [Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics] graduates and over 50,000 ICT [Information and communications technology] graduates, who form a great wealth for the tech scene.”
He also referred to the developments in Egypt’s infrastructure that have taken place over the past few years.
“Egypt has invested over EGP100 billion ($3.24 billion) in the past few years in order to strengthen our infrastructure network and to avail access to all the citizens to internet and technology,” the minister said, pointing out that Egypt is focusing now on providing training and building capacity of its workforce to ensure the continuous flow of talent.
Another issue discussed with the founder of Techne Summit, Tarek El Kady, was the involvement of Alexandria in Egypt’s investment map, given that it is the second-largest Egyptian governorate with a population of 5.6 million.
“We realised that Alexandria does not get the attention it deserves when it comes to investment levels two years after running Techne summit in 2017, therefore, the co-founders and I have launched the Alex Angels VC firm, where we invested in several Alexandrian companies,” El Kady told Wamda.
“When we look at Alexandria, we see a talented young population and a good market to launch, test and validate your product, which qualifies you to expand nationwide and even regionally and globally,” El Kady added.
Along with the ICT Minister, the event was inaugurated by Håkan Emsgård, the Ambassador of Sweden in Cairo, and Christine Arab, the Country Representative of UN Women, and witnessed participation from regional and local investors looking for networking and navigating the investment opportunities in the country.