ITIDA, three U.S. entities promoting Egypt as hub for IT services, lure more investments

Information Technology Industry Development Agency (ITIDA), part of the Egyptian Ministry of Communications, is collaborating with three U.S. entities to promote Egypt as a hub for IT services and eventually allure more American investments.

ITIDA has participated in the “Egypt: Your Hub for IT Services” webinar, organised by the U.S.-Egypt Business Council, the Embassy of Egypt in Washington, in collaboration with the American Chamber of Commerce in Egypt (AmCham).

The webinar aimed at encouraging and supporting foreign and U.S. investors seeking to enhance their global presence and leverage Egypt as a global hub for IT/ITES and technology innovation.

Ambassador of Egypt to the U.S. Motaz Zahran, along with Steve Lutes, executive director of the U.S.-Egypt Business Council; Amr Mahfouz, ITIDA’s CEO; Hisham Fahmy, CEO of the AmCham Egypt, and representatives of several major Multinational companies have attended the webinar.

Egypt’s ICT sector has recently witnessed remarkable economic indicators. The sector is expected to achieve a growth rate amounting to 16 percent during the current financial year. The value of the sector’s domestic product increased from 93.5 billion Egyptian pounds to 107.7 billion pounds ($5.9 billion to $6.8 billion), during the last financial year, with a contribution of 4.4 percent to the GDP.

Furthermore, the value of digital exports improved from $3.6 billion to $4.1 billion.

Ambassador of Egypt to the U.S. Motaz Zahran
Ambassador of Egypt to the U.S. Motaz Zahran

“Egypt is undergoing major digital transformation, much of which could be attributed to its regional leadership, connectivity and digital literacy.” Ambassador Motaz Zahran said.

“Egypt’s commitment to building the ICT sector is part of the broader Digital Egypt Initiative, which adheres to three key pillars, namely, digital transformation, digital skills and jobs, and digital innovation.”

On the legislative and regulatory side, he noted that the Egyptian government has made legal reforms to in consumer protection, intellectual property, personal data protection, and digital signature.

The Egyptian ambassador highlighted that the government has strategically and heavily invested in developing its ICT infrastructure and expanding the fibre optics across the country, resulting in tangible outcomes, as Egypt came 2nd in Africa in internet speed, with an average speed of 33Mbps.

Amr Mahfouz - CEO of ITIDA
Amr Mahfouz – CEO of ITIDA

ITIDA’s CEO Amr Mahfouz said Egypt’s ICT sector is witnessing great development, where a large number of national-scale initiatives and projects are being implemented to enhance Egypt’s position on the global ICT industry map.

Mahfouz emphasised Egypt’s resilience during the global pandemic due to the government’s strategic infrastructure investments, contrary to other ICT markets.

ITIDA is extending unprecedented support in areas of human capacity building and developing digital skills, by offering training programs on a national scale in high technology and IT tracks, in addition to providing scientific degrees in partnerships with prestigious universities and global tech players, he added.

“Egypt’s ICT sector is steadily growing in terms of its aggregate contribution to the GDP”, Mahfouz noted.

“To take full advantage of the innovation and technologies, we believe that it is vital to maximise the potential for our partnerships, explore new collaborations, both with longstanding businesses that have been doing business in Egypt and newly created startups, to tap into that entrepreneurial community,”

Steve Lutes, Executive Director of the U.S.-Egypt Business Council,
Steve Lutes, Executive Director of the U.S.-Egypt Business Council,

Steve Lutes, Executive Director of the U.S.-Egypt Business Council, said: “Egypt’s digital economy has seen accelerated adoption of technologies and innovation in magnitudes of growth during the pandemic.”

Moreover, Hisham Fahmy, CEO of AmCham Egypt, said: “Egypt’s ICT sector is a main contributor to the country’s GDP which supports attracting more investments to Egypt.” Fahmy asserted on the necessity to the continued development to keep pace with disruptive technological, especially artificial intelligence and cyber security.

Hisham Fahmy, CEO of the AmCham Egypt,
Hisham Fahmy, CEO of the AmCham Egypt

During the webinar, Amani Rabie, ITIDA’s VP for Markets Development, reviewed the investment opportunities available in the Egyptian ICT sector and showcased the value proposition of Egypt as a favourite destination for IT and business services.

Rabie referred that more than 40 U.S. Tech and non-tech companies are already working in Egypt where they are leveraging the country’s capabilities in the offshoring industry and where they have opted to outsource their IT services and shared services centers to Egypt.

Amani Rabie, ITIDS’s VP for Markets Development
Amani Rabie, ITIDS’s VP for Markets Development

The webinar also discussed enhancing bilateral trade between Egypt and the U.S., and the existing investment opportunities in the sector.

In this regard, Mahfouz stated: “We look forward to further cooperation opportunities and to attract more direct investments from the United States, as we encourage US companies to expand their business operations in Egypt.”

“Such opportunities always instill exchange of experience, latest technologies, and know-how, in addition to deepening the strategic relationship between both countries.” he added.

Egypt has been ranked 15th globally in the latest Kearney report; “Global Services Location Index 2021.

The North African country has recorded 5.62 percent in the index, retaining its top spot in the Middle East and Africa region.