Egypt has managed to create a very healthy startup scene to lead Africa’s investment charts in 2019, while also maintaining a good position during the current year, therefore ranking second in the Middle East with USD 130 mn (EGP 2.05 bn) worth of investments, Invest-Gate reports.

During the fourth webinar by the British Egyptian Business Association (BEBA) on digital transformation and innovation in Egypt, Head of Technology Innovation and Entrepreneurship Center (TIEC) Hossam Osman noted that TIEC has exerted tremendous efforts over the past decade to develop a comprehensive portfolio of services to empower local startups, according to a recent press release.

Fawry Founder and CEO Ashraf Sabry affirmed that startups have many promising opportunities that will contribute to boosting market growth and development. Consequently, Egypt is welcoming more players and companies now, which reflects the need for extra investments, especially that internet penetration has already reached 40 mn users in Egypt, which is driving social media and digital channels usage.

On the sidelines, Benya Chairman and CEO Ahmed Mekky praised the country’s efforts in digital transformation, calling for a much stronger, more-needed, government-backed, integrated digital infrastructure to maximize the benefits. He stated that his company has already contributed to invigorating the Egyptian educational sector through technological and innovative means.

Specifically, digital solutions and approaches have been applied across 2,500 local and regional schools, using telecommunication tools. As a result, Egypt is now on the right track to achieve digital transformation as the main driver of its economic growth and diversification, which will help to create civilized communities that support knowledge and innovation, while also attract additional investments, Mekky explained.

Likewise, Cisco Vice President in the Middle East and Africa Reem Asaad underlined that Egypt is leading digital transformation in the region, which is evident in different sectors such as healthcare, indicating the market’s potentials and opportunities, paired with its ability to exceed the expected growth rate of 1.7% via the adoption of digital solutions.

Meanwhile, Country Head of Global Liquidity and Cash Management at HSBC Bank Egypt Ahmed Badawi emphasized the bank’s role in supporting small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) as well as the Central Bank of Egypt’s (CBE) initiative for digital transformation and financial inclusion.

“Egyptians are able to adapt quickly to this market change as banking e-commerce has increased by 40% in the last seven months,” HSBC’s Badawi was quoted as saying.

EFG Hermes Finance CEO Walid Hassouna also pointed out the importance of identifying and studying the different changes in consumer behavior by adopting artificial intelligence solutions to develop data infrastructure and spot the suitable products for all consumer groups, according to the statement.

The traditional consumer classification of groups or clusters is not consistent with artificial intelligence capabilities. Accordingly, startups that depend heavily on technology development could improve their competitiveness amid the current market challenges, Hassouna stressed.

On July 19, BEBA had organized its third webinar to host a broad range of investors and market experts, who revealed that legislative complexities stand as one of the major hurdles for Egypt’s healthcare sector,  which casts down potential stakeholders at a time when the sector needs to be attractive, as highlighted in an earlier statement.