Egypt needs billions to upgrade infrastructure, says minister

Egypt needs billions of dollars of investment to upgrade its telecommunications infrastructure, the country’s telecoms minister told reporters this week.

The country is looking to attract multinationals and restore growth after three years of political upheaval, which has hammered Egypt’s finances and put off investors from entering the market.

Telecoms minister, Atef Helmy, said that the country needs an investment of $5-6 billion in order to build broadband internet across the nation, as well as an additional $3 billion to build seven technology parks.

“There is no doubt that the telecoms and technology sector is one of the most competitive sectors when it comes to investment, and as part of building our new Egypt… it is a cornerstone,” Helmy told Reuters.

"For high-speed internet, for each 10% penetration this creates between 50,000-60,000 jobs... so you can just imagine the impact economically. You cannot develop education and health without having this infrastructure in place."

The Egyptian government hopes the planned technology parks will lure multinationals into the country, as well as provide employment. This and other initiatives like it will be presented at a summit in Sharm el-Sheikh in February, focussed on encouraging investment in Egypt.

Last month, regulators in Egypt approved he country’s long-awaited unified landline and mobile telecoms licence.

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