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Egypt's tech parks target country's 34.4% youth unemployment

Egypt's tech parks target country's 34.4% youth unemployment

Egypt's technology parks, including its flagship Borg Al-Arab Technology Park in Alexandria, will support the ICT sector and help address unemployment, particularly among the youth.

This is according to the country's recently appointed Minister of Communications and Information Technology Amr Talaat who visited Borg Al-Arab and said the resource should be used by the youth to equip themselves with tech skills and experience.

According to statistics from the International Labour Organisation, released in June 2018, youth unemployment in Egypt in 2017 stood at 34.4%.

Talaat stressed the need to redouble efforts within the tech parks and specifically source creative ideas from all stakeholders (start-up businesses and entrepreneurs) and leverage the Minister of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT) and its Fekretak Sherketak (your idea is your enterprise) program which runs the Falak Startups national start-up accelerator initiative.

"The four technology parks in Borg Al-Arab, Assiut, Sadat City, Beni Suef are being developed to maximise benefit from them through promoting investment opportunities available within those parks and to offer a range of incentives to attract new investments. This is in addition to creating a favorable environment for developing digital industries, implanting the electronics manufacturing, supporting technological innovation and expanding startup and innovators incubation programs," said Talaat.

Once the park is completed, the government plans to lease out 100% of the built up area of the park (representing an investment of US$161 million).

Authorities are looking to attract investment in the park and have introduced tax incentives, including a corporate tax rate cut from 42% to 25% for businesses that participate in the technology park, as well as a reduction of customs tariffs from the average of 14.6% to 6.2%.

Schneider Electric, TomTom and ZTE are among companies that have expressed interest in acquiring space in the tech park.

Three weeks ago, Mohamed Shadid, CEO of Eitesal Association (which partnered with government in projects within Borg Al-Arab Technology Park) revealed to Egypt's Daily News Newspaper that the estimated expenditure for managing and operating the innovation cluster in Borg El Arab Technology Park during 2018/2019 financial year will reach EGP 14m.

"Eitesal, in association with its partners in the project, seek to attract EGP 5m to diversify financing sources and support the parks activities. After the start of the first phase of the "EBNI - Borg El Arab" incubator, the Academy of Scientific Research and Technology will start supporting incubated companies through the national programme of technological incubators," said Shadid.

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