Egypt set to launch $57.8m fintech startup fund

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The Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) plans to launch an EGP1 billion (US$57.8 million) fund dedicated to backing fintech startups, the bank’s deputy governor has said.

The fund, which is being set up in partnership with the Egyptian government, will support digital finance startups and fund research in the financial services space with the aim of establishing the country as a fintech hub.

This is according to Ayman Hussein, deputy governor of the CBE, who was speaking at the recent Arab African Forum in Aswan, Egypt. There is no set date for when the fund will formally launch, but Hussein said it forms part of a wider push to develop fintech in Egypt.

“We are also creating a new application laboratory for innovative financial technologies which would be used to test new applications,” he said.

Private Egyptian banks have already taken the lead in backing fintech startups, with Disrupt Africa reporting in December Commercial International Bank (CIB) has launched CVentures, a corporate venture capital firm focused on investing in transformational fintech startups and next generation financial services platforms.

The CBE, meanwhile, also plans to launch a cybersecurity centre for the banking sector by the end of this year, with Hussein saying it was keen to harness the country’s potential.

“Egypt has the success factors that have made it a pioneer in the financial technology sector, including the strong demand for financial services, the banking sector, telecommunications companies, electronic payment companies, insurance companies, regulators, incubators, business accelerators, investors and SMEs,” he said.

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Passionate about the vibrant tech startups scene in Africa, Tom can usually be found sniffing out the continent's most exciting new companies and entrepreneurs, funding rounds and any other developments within the growing ecosystem.

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