Although Egyptian IT companies are late directing their investments to the African market, a number of the sector’s officials confirmed there are many promising growth chances in the continent’s markets. Officials agreed the African market is in need of technological solutions, especially for governmental services in the fields of health, education, industry, and agriculture.
Many countries expanded into Africa before Egypt, most prominently Lebanon, Jordan and China, said Chairman of IT Industry Chamber (ITC) Khaled Ibrahim. Nevertheless, he finds the African market still has investment opportunities, which enables Egyptian companies to expand there. Ibrahim revealed the Information Technology Industry Development Agency (ITIDA) agreed with ITC on promoting Egyptian companies in Middle East and North Africa countries, of which ITC already started through its “Bridges” trip to Morocco.
Vice Chairman of ITC Hossam El Sammad said expanding in African markets is the normal orientation of Egyptian companies in the upcoming period, given the advancement of solutions they provide compared to other companies operating in these markets. African markets have growth potentially more than the Gulf area, although the purchasing power indicators are in the Gulf countries’ favor. Education and health are two of the most prominent sectors with investment chances for Egyptian IT companies in Africa, El Sammad said.
The “Bridges” trip that ITC organized is an example of the potential Egyptian companies have in Africa. Seven of eighteen companies that travelled with ITC’s trip were able to sign contracts with Moroccan companies to provide their technological services and solutions. The rest of the companies commenced discussions with their Moroccan counterparts to open ports of cooperation between both parties, which shows there are unused investment chances in Africa, El Sammad said.
Competition in African markets would be easier for Egyptian companies than expanding in the Gulf area especially since huge international companies are already operating in Gulf markets, Salem said. He called on them to take the issue seriously and develop clear plans to facilitate the expansion of Egyptian IT companies. Revenues can be made faster in Africa than in the Gulf area and IT sectors, especially governmental services in Africa, have promising investment opportunities.