According to reports published by digital news outlet Disrupt Africa, the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) has announced a financial tech fund worth EGP 1 billion (USD 1 million) which will be aimed at boost startups in the industry nationwide. Ayman Hussein, the deputy centregovernor of the CBE, elaborated that though a formal launch date had not been fixed, the initiative would be part of a multi-pronged approach by the local government to support the growth of fintech enterprise in the African nation. The announcement was made in a recent Arab African Forum held in Aswan.
“Egypt has the success factors that qualify it to pioneer in the financial technology industry, including the huge demand for financial services, strong banking sector, telecommunications companies, electronic payment companies, insurance companies, regulatory institutions, incubators, business accelerators, investors, and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) financiers.”
CBE will be collaborating with the Egyptian government, to supported digital finance startups and research and development of financial services in a common goal to establish Egypt as a recognized fintech hub in the region. The fund, which is being set up with the assistance of the government, will support digital finance startups as well as fund research in the financial services space with the aim of establishing the country as a fintech hub.
“We are also creating a new application laboratory for innovative financial technologies which would be used to test new applications.”
Recently, the same news source reported that the Commercial International Bank had launched CVentures in the country, aiming to be a corporate venture capital entity making investments in fintech startups and new generation platforms for neo financial services.
The CBE also is looking into establishing a cybersecurity center for the banking industry at the end of 2019. In December, CBE, also through Hussein, informed of an ongoing feasibility study by the central bank to determine the viability of a central bank digital currency, possibly leading to an Egyptian pound-based cryptocurrency.