US-based technology solutions provider Cisco will invest $10m in Jordan and another $10m in Egypt to encourage sustainable job creation and economic development in the two countries.

The venture capital investment will be targeted at small businesses to encourage innovation over the next five years.

“The Egyptian government recognises that a properly functioning telecoms and information technology (IT) infrastructure is essential for attracting foreign investment and enabling the private sector and government to function more efficiently,” says Egypt’s minister of communications and IT, Magued Osman.

Jordan’s ICT sector has grown 50 per cent since 2002 and represents more than 14 per cent of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP).