The Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) in partnership with the Egyptian government plans to launch EGP1 billion ($57.8 million) fund for fintech startups. The fund will support finance startups and fund research in the financial services sector with the aim of establishing the country as a fintech hub.
This was made known by Ayman Hussein, Deputy Governor of the CBE while speaking at the recent Arab African Forum in Aswan, Egypt. Although there is no set date for when the fund will formally launch, Hussein said it forms part of a wider push to develop fintech in Egypt.
“Egypt has the success factors that qualify it to pioneer in the FinTech industry, including the huge demand for financial services, strong banking sector, telecommunicationscompanies, electronic payment companies, insurance companies, regulatory institutions, incubators, business accelerators, investors, and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) financiers,” he said.
Late last year, the Commercial International Bank— the largest private bank of the country announced the establishment of its corporate VC called CVentures to invest in Fintech startups of Middle East and Africa.
The CBE plans to establish a FinTech sandbox called Financial Technology Application Lab that will balance innovation with risk reduction while ensuring customer protection. “We are also creating a new application laboratory for innovative financial technologies which would be used to test new applications,” he said. It also plans to launch a cybersecurity center for the banking sector by the end of this year in order to harness the country’s potential.