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Wednesday, 15 February 2023

SFE wants to turn old Downtown ministry buildings into tech office space

SMART POLICY- The SFE wants more tech space Downtown: The Sovereign Fund of Egypt (SFE) plans to use several buildings in Downtown Cairo and Zamalek to create a new hub for tech businesses, fund head Ayman Soliman told Asharq Business earlier this week. The fund is looking to collaborate with private-sector firms to repurpose the old interior, youth and sports, and tourism ministry buildings to house services geared towards tech firms, he said. This includes IT services, startup incubation, and training, as well as business process outsourcing.

Companies have already shown interest: “We have major companies interested in contributing to this project, and we have signed contracts," he said, speaking on the sidelines of the World Government Summit in Dubai. “We have specific partners who have submitted feasibility studies” for the development of the buildings, he said. Soliman did not disclose how much the project might cost, how it will be funded or over what timeframe it will be done.

The SFE had been planning a Garden City incubator: Soliman last summer said the fund expected to sign an agreement with a consortium of Egyptian and international companies interested in turning space formerly owned by the Interior Ministry in Garden City into a startup incubator, a call center, and a campus for a French university not currently operating in Egypt.

Big ambitions: The SFE thinks the project could raise annual revenues from IT exports to USD 10 bn, Soliman said, from USD 4.9 bn in FY 2021-2022.

Reminder: An overhaul of the ministry buildings cannot begin until the ministries relocate to the new capital, which is due to finish by the end of March, the head of the city’s chief developer told Al Arabiya last month.

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