On 4-5 October 2022, Egyptian and European digital actors came together with the purpose of boosting Egypt’s green technology (Greentech) sector. A two-day multi-stakeholder dialogue and workshop gathered over 60 representatives of the private sector, civil society, academia, and government in an effort to draw a common roadmap to support innovation and digital entrepreneurship as a driver to meet Egypt’s sustainability and environmental goals. In particular, emphasis was given to the development of Artificial Intelligence (AI) applications in the field of resilient agriculture and sustainable smart cities.
The event also highlighted the importance of involving the private sector in co-creating Greentech solutions. In this spirit, it brought together eleven start-ups and seven international companies based in Egypt to present new products and services and spark new partnerships – the result was a shared ambition to strengthen public-private collaboration to meet joint ambitions.
Below we present the two main recommendations that resulted from this process. For a more comprehensive overview, please consult the full report.
1. Access to data, a supportive legal framework, and capacity building are key to enabling AI-based Greentech solutions
Incorporating AI-based solutions to the sectors of agriculture and smart cities can contribute greatly to achieving goals of sustainability and resilience linked to climate change, participants agreed. This can be made possible through better data availability and accessibility, supportive regulation and legal framework, and the development of capacity and awareness for the end users.
The implementation and development of AI-based solutions should be accompanied and supported by relevant stakeholders throughout the ecosystem, both from the public and the private sector, in order to facilitate the development of human-centred and smart solutions on a large scale.
2. Support matchmaking between start-ups and larger companies
During the two-day event, corporate innovation product managers collaborated with CEOs and co-founders of relevant start-ups – a matchmaking process that showed interesting results, since the practice of merging profiles is not a common practice in the Egyptian digital ecosystem.
As a result, companies were able to present their assets to start-ups and offered opportunities for future collaborations, while start-ups pitched their services and skills to a relevant audience including corporate leaders, paving the way for new partnerships.
Entities of the private sector with different levels of maturity can lead to innovation. Therefore, more match-making initiatives and partnerships should be eased through an enabling regulatory framework and support structures for the development of viable business models.
The event was convened by Expertise France, an implementing partner of the African Union-European Union (AU-EU) Digital for Development (D4D) Hub, in partnership with the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT), the Ministry of International Cooperation (MOIC), the Information Technology Industry Development Agency (ITIDA), and the French Embassy in Egypt.
The African Union – European Union (AU-EU) Digital for Development (D4D) Hub supports African institutions to lay grounds for an inclusive and sustainable digital transformation. The project works with African governments and regional organizations to advance digital cooperation with European partners.