Egypt hopes outsourcing will create jobs


Taha Khalifa, country manager of Egypt for Intel
In recent years Egypt has opened itself as a hub for outsourcing, particularly in the technology sector. In doing so, the government hopes to create much-needed jobs for fresh graduates and is even hoping to revamp the education system to include tech curriculum.

Egypt has a chronic problem with unemployment among young people: over half of Egypt’s population is under the age of thirty, and nine out of ten unemployed Egyptian fall under that age group.

The government hopes outsourcing will help ease the situation.

“We’re looking at creating more jobs for the newly graduated,” Yasser el-Kady, CEO of the Information Technology Industry Development Agency, said in an interview with Arabian Business.

El-Kady explained that the goal is not just to focus on the technology itself, but also on education.

Taha Khalifa, Intel’s head in Egypt, said the company has developed a curriculum that could be modified to Egyptian classrooms.

“On the basic technological aspects we find good people, but things need polishing – we’re working in teams,” he said. “Both the academic community and the minister are receptive to us telling them about the requirements so that we can meet our needs.”

According to el-Kady, around 65,000 Egyptians work in the information technology sector in Egypt. About half of those provide local services, and the rest are focused on outsourced services.

According to a report by Arabian Business, Egypt is up to $1.1 billion in outsourced revenue, and plans to hit $3 billion by 2015.

For young Egyptians such as 26-year-old Youssef Mustafa, outsourcing companies such as Cisco not only bring work but also the possibility of working one’s way up in the company and perhaps, eventually, being transferred abroad.

Like many other young Egyptians from lower middle class backgrounds, Mustafa feels trapped in what he views as a stagnant world. “My dream is to be good enough to be transferred and work for Cisco in Europe,” he said. “I don’t want to stay in Egypt.”

Mustafa believes he can get there with hard work, something he feels would be impossible with an Egyptian company.

When it comes to sheer size and numbers, China and India will probably always dominate the outsourcing market. Even so, there is space for countries like Egypt – particularly in the mostly untapped markets in the Middle East and North Africa.

According to a report by Arabian Business, Egypt is up to $1.1 billion in outsourced revenue, and plans to hit $3 billion by 2015.

By Sallie Pisch


  1. Very interesting. It’s amazing how global economies and trends adapt over time. It seems that Vietnam is the new China in terms of low cost country sourcing. And now Egypt is the new India? The time difference for Europe would be one advantage. Language capabilities would be one area I would be keen to know more. On the whole, English is a second language to many outsourcing companies in India and so language barriers have been largely removed, particularly on the written side. Can Egypt compete on this front? Certainly worth investigating.

    Market Dojo Ltd.

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