The International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, has pledged up to $2 billion to Egypt in new investments over the next three years, underlining its support for the country’s private sector.
IFC Executive Vice President and Chief Executive Officer Philippe Le Houérou signed a new investment agreement that will see IFC provide up to $2 million in equity financing to Flat6Labs Cairo, a leading regional accelerator and seed fund, which will invest in about 100 Egyptian tech startups and support more than 300 entrepreneurs over the next five years. The investment is part of IFC’s Startup Catalyst program and aims to support innovation in Egypt by addressing funding and knowledge gaps at the earliest stages of entrepreneurship.
With the new agreement, Philippe Le Houérou pledged to continue to support job creation, entrepreneurship, innovation, and infrastructure development in Egypt, “Egypt has tremendous long-term potential, given its large workforce, strategic location, and well-established manufacturing sector,” said Le Houérou. “The country’s recently announced economic reforms will help it capitalize on that promise—by breathing new life into the private sector, which can drive innovation and employment, and create lasting opportunities for all Egyptians.”
Le Houérou met with business leaders and government officials, underlining IFC’s support for the country’s private sector and pledging up to $2 billion in new investment during the next three years. He also said IFC would stand by Egypt as it enacts a series of economic reforms meant to spur investment and jump-start growth.
During his two-day visit, Le Houérou finalized a $10 million investment to Algebra Ventures, the first Egypt-dedicated venture capital fund to come to market since 2008.
He also signed a $20 million equity financing agreement with one of Egypt’s largest private construction companies, Hassan Allam Holding. The firm specializes in large-scale infrastructure projects and is a key player in Egypt’s vital construction sector, which employs 10 percent of the country’s workforce.
Le Houérou described Egypt as a priority country for IFC. The institution has invested $2.8 billion in the Egypt, including mobilization, during the last decade. Since 2011 alone, it has committed $1.5 billion to private-sector businesses in the country. Combined, that work has helped to support smaller businesses, fund infrastructure development, improve the country’s business climate, and spur technological innovation.