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    Arab Regional Center for Digital Financial Inclusion to Establish in Egypt

    Cairo, 9 August 2017

    The Minister of Communications and Information Technology Yasser ElKady has received the Regional Director of the Arab Regional Office at the International Telecom Union (ITU) Ebrahim Al-Haddad, where he discussed Egypt's participation in the Financial Inclusion Global Initiative (FIGI), launched by the World Bank Group (WBG), the ITU, the Committee on Payments and Market Infrastructures (CPMI) and Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF).

    The Initiative aims to disseminate digital financial services in developing countries and accelerate the access of citizens to these services through official institutions. The three model countries —selected to participate in implementing the initiative— are Egypt, China and Mexico.

    The selection of Egypt to participate in the Initiative was based on the State's digital transformation strategy— which aims to disseminate the concept of financial inclusion— the cooperation of various government agencies to provide better services to citizens, and the government’s ability to integrate more than 44 million citizens into the formal financial sector. This is in addition to the availability of laws, regulations and technological infrastructure, and the state’s support to the dissemination of the innovation and digital technology culture.

    ElKady ascertained that Egypt has made great progress in providing financial inclusion services, whether through modernizing the infrastructure or applying regulatory frameworks in the sector. He underlined the role played by the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT) to provide all categories of society with financial, community and government services. He also highlighted the need to develop calibers’ technical and technological skills to enable them to provide modern non-banking financial services professionally and contribute to the dissemination of financial inclusion services nationwide.

    The Initiative would fund specialized training programs provided for Egypt Post (EP) calibers nationwide, and an Arab regional center for digital financial inclusion is set to be established in Egypt. The center aims to prepare periodic studies and reports to assess the current state of digital financial inclusion, identify national and regional needs and measure the success of its projects. This is in addition to coordinating between regulators and providers of telecommunications services and financial services; providing advisory and technical support and training programs to achieve integration in the ICT and financial sectors. It also aims to develop regulatory and legal frameworks that promote financial inclusion, encouraging Public-Private Partnerships (PPP) to ensure the protection of users’ privacy and  data and enhance confidence in digital financial services.

    Al-Haddad hailed the ICT Minister's proposals on mainstreaming the concept of financial inclusion. He also underlined the effective role played by Egypt in the framework of the ITU activities. He talked about the existing projects between MCIT and the ITU such as the Smart Water Management Project, and People with Disabilities projects.

    The Arab countries, led by Egypt, are currently adopting an initiative for digital financial inclusion to be approved during the ITU World Telecommunication Development Conference (WTDC), that will be held in October in the Argentine capital.

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