Digital news outlet Disrupt Africa has reported that the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) has announced a financial tech fund worth EGP 1 billion (USD 1 million) to help boost startups in the industry nationwide.

The deputy governor of the CBE, Ayman Hussein, was quoted as saying that there was no formal launch date decided yet, but that would be part of a multi-pronged approach by the local government to support the growth of fintech enterprise in the African nation. He made the announcement in a recent Arab African Forum held in Aswan.

With the Egyptian goverment as a partner, digital finance startups and research and development of financial services would be supported in a common goal to establish Egypt as a recognized fintech hub in the region.it 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.

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

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. Hussein sais that the government was keen to harness local potential, recognizing that it has “success factors” that led it to become a groundbreaker in fintech. He cited “the strong demand for financial services, the banking sector, telecommunications companies, electronic payment companies, insurance companies, regulators, incubators, business accelerators, investors and SMEs” as evidence of this.

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.

 

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