Saudi Arabia to Stimulate Local Cyber-security Industry

The new accelerator connects startups with investors, with the aim of expanding their activities and developing their capabilities. (Asharq Al-Awsat)
The new accelerator connects startups with investors, with the aim of expanding their activities and developing their capabilities. (Asharq Al-Awsat)
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Saudi Arabia to Stimulate Local Cyber-security Industry

The new accelerator connects startups with investors, with the aim of expanding their activities and developing their capabilities. (Asharq Al-Awsat)
The new accelerator connects startups with investors, with the aim of expanding their activities and developing their capabilities. (Asharq Al-Awsat)

The National Cybersecurity Authority (NCA) is working to accelerate the Kingdom’s entrepreneurship system and encourage innovation, as part of the CyberIC program for the wider development of the cybersecurity sector.

The NCA called on all local startups in the field to register in the “cybersecurity accelerator” for a period of three weeks, through a dedicated platform on its website.

The new accelerator connects startups with investors, with the aim of expanding their activities and developing their capabilities. The program aims to empower 40 startups within a period of three years, provide them with more than 6.5 million riyals (USD 1.7 million) in financial support and more than 500 hours of guidance and direction for enterprises seeking to expand in the cybersecurity sector.

The authority stated that the program also seeks to stimulate the industry and attract foreign and local investments, as part of Saudi efforts to develop the sector and qualify national capabilities.

The launching of the cybersecurity accelerator comes in cooperation with the Saudi Information Technology Company (SITE), and in partnership with Plug and Play - one of the world’s largest technology business accelerators.

The CyberIC program aims to develop and build national capabilities in the field of cybersecurity, localize technology and training content and stimulate the wider domestic cybersecurity sector.

According to NCA, the first phase of the CyberIC includes numerous initiatives, including training employees of national authorities, accelerating cybersecurity activities to stimulate the sector, and encouraging the development of national cybersecurity products, services and solutions.



Egypt's Central Bank Leaves Key Interest Rates Unchanged

A general view of Dahab Island or Gold Island (Gezirit el-Dahab) in the middle of the Nile River in Cairo, Egypt, July 2, 2024. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh
A general view of Dahab Island or Gold Island (Gezirit el-Dahab) in the middle of the Nile River in Cairo, Egypt, July 2, 2024. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh
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Egypt's Central Bank Leaves Key Interest Rates Unchanged

A general view of Dahab Island or Gold Island (Gezirit el-Dahab) in the middle of the Nile River in Cairo, Egypt, July 2, 2024. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh
A general view of Dahab Island or Gold Island (Gezirit el-Dahab) in the middle of the Nile River in Cairo, Egypt, July 2, 2024. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh

Egypt's central bank left its overnight interest rates unchanged on Thursday, as expected, saying economic growth remained slow but that inflation has been decreasing.
The bank's Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) left the deposit rate at 27.25% and the lending rate at 28.25%.
All but one of 18 analysts in a Reuters poll had expected rates to remain unchanged, with the sole analyst forecasting a cut of 100 basis points (bps).
The decision keeps the overnight deposit rate below that of headline inflation, which was 27.5% in June. Real interest rates have been negative since January 2022. Inflation declined in June for a fourth straight month after soaring to a record 38% in September.
The MPC expects inflation to come down sharply in the first half of 2025.
"The gradual unwinding of food inflation along with the improvement of inflation expectations suggest that inflation is on a sustained downward trajectory," the MPC said.
Gross domestic product inched down to an annualized 2.2% in the first quarter from 2.3% in the final quarter of 2023, the MPC added.
"Leading indicators for Q2 2024 suggest that economic activity remains subdued. Consequently, real GDP growth is expected to slow down in FY 2023/24 compared to the previous fiscal year, before recovering in FY 2024/25," it said.
Egypt reported GDP of 3.8% in 2022/23.
The central bank raised interest rates by 600 bps on March 6 as part of an agreement with the IMF, bringing total increases since the beginning of the year to 800 bps. Egypt also sharply devalued its currency against the dollar under its IMF accord.