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Orange to back Egyptian tech startups

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Multinational telecommunications corporation Orange has expressed its desire to invest in technology startups from Egypt following a visit by the Egyptian Minister of Communications and Information Technology (CIT), Yasser El-Kady, to the mobile operator’s headquarters in France last week.

A statement issued by Orange reveals that the Minister was accompanied by the Egyptian Ambassador in Paris to meetings where the telco’s commitment was secured in discussions with several members of the Orange Group Executive Committee and the CEO of Orange Egypt.

Neither Orange nor the Ministry has disclosed the monetary value of the mobile operator’s pledge.

“As a result of the meetings, Orange is contemplating leveraging the opportunities offered by new technology zones, including in Assyut, to install customer service centres. Also, as part of the Orange Group’s interest in supporting emerging, innovative companies, it was agreed to support and fund technology-focused start-ups in Egypt to help them to transform their ideas into reality while creating a sustainable business model,” stated Orange.

Bruno Mettling, Chairman and CEO of Orange Middle East & Africa said, “The Group’s presence in Egypt is of utmost importance to our future development in Africa and the Middle East, and we have great confidence in the potential for development within the Egyptian economy. This visit also reflects the Orange Group’s willingness to work with the Egyptian Ministry of Communication and Information Technology in order to strengthen cooperation between our two countries in a context that encourages foreign investment.”

El-Kady also visited Orange’s flagship smart store in central Paris and the Group’s innovation campus, Orange Gardens during his stay in France.

Egypt’s ICT Ministry has also indicated that the Minister also took the time to attend a presentation on Orange’s activities in mobile e-commerce and money transfer before sitting down with a representative from French software company Valeo.

“ElKady, also, met with Valeo Group Corporate Vice-President Jean-Luc di Paola-Galloni, discussing expanding the company’s investments and business in Egypt. Valeo VP stated that Cairo’s centre is the company’s most important research and development centre in the world,” the Ministry explained.

Commitments to invest in Egypt following the Minister’s visit come days after another global satellite navigation systems and devices company TomTom announced that it will establish a centre for developing high-tech products and systems in Egypt.

Earlier this year Orange announced the launch of an Africa-focused arm of its early-stage investment programme Orange Digital Ventures, committing EUR50 million (US$56 million) to the new initiative.

Al-Kady visited Orange’s new innovation campus in Chatillon, Orange Gardens, which was inaugurated in June 2016 by the French President François Hollande. The 72,000m² eco-friendly site brings together more than 3,000 employees across all areas of research and innovation.

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