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    Under the Auspices of MCIT & in Collaboration with EFSA, ITIDA Launches a Forum to Activate E-Signature Technology for Security Firms

    Cairo, 8 October 2012

    - 3 Million EGP Financial Support for e-Signature Licensed Companies

    In the presence of the Minister of ICT, Mr. Hany Mahmoud, the Information Technology Industry Development Agency (ITIDA), in collaboration with the Egyptian Financial Supervisory Authority (EFSA), launched the forum and agreement to enable securities and brokerage firms trading using e-signature technology.

    Held in MCIT premises at Smart Village, the forum is to pursue the role of the Ministry of communications and Information Technology (MCIT) in developing and supporting IT industry and Egyptian electronic business. Hosting the event is also part of the Ministry responsibilities being the organizer of the provisions of e-signature law to publish e-business applications in all fields and sectors.

    The forum aims at identifying frameworks of joint collaboration between the two bodies, thus supporting and encouraging applications of e-signature in stock exchange market services.

    The forum comes in line with the exerted efforts to implement ITIDA’s strategy activating the use of e-signature technology and its application in accordance with relevant laws.

    This also provides e-signature for individuals and institutions to enable the Egyptian society of benefiting from this technology, thus assisting in swift performance of business, providing distinguished express services for citizens and activating e-commerce.

    During the events of the forum, an agreement of joint cooperation between ITIDA’s CEO, Mr. Yasser El-Kady and EFSA Chairman, Dr. Ashraf El Sharkawy.

    The two parties have agreed that EFSA should rely on ITIDA’s implemented and authorized applications in the field of e-signature via internet, mobile phones and any other electronic devices. They have also agreed on training EFSA technical calibers in the field of information security, e-signature usage and its applications.

    Both parties also agreed on implementing a joint pilot project to develop the system of exchanging and saving documents at EFSA. In addition, preparing for an awareness campaign is scheduled for securities firms and for various groups of citizens to introduce them to e-signature law and its applications and how to achieve maximum benefit.

    Minister of Communications and Information Technology, Mr. Hany Mahmoud denotes that the agreement aims at activating e-signature applications, an important step to enable securities and brokerage firms for securities trading.

    This strongly contributes in activating e-commerce movement, hence achieving economic growth, enhancing investment opportunities in Egypt and developing electronic business transactions under the cover of law, Mr. Mahmoud elaborates.

    Chairman of EFSA, Dr. Ashraf El Sharkawy stresses on the importance of this initiative to activate the use of e-signature technique as a safe and secure method for exchange of information and documents among employees at the stock exchange market. He considers it a legal mechanism to help safeguard the rights of dealers and guarantees credibility and legality of e-transactions.

    Moreover, EFSA works along with ITIDA to ensure that clients of brokerage firms receive e-signature certificate at the lowest cost, thus assist in reducing costs of transactions on one hand, and raise the efficiency of e-services provided to investors in stock markets on the other hand, Dr. El Sharkawy adds.

    Mr. Yasser El Kady, ITIDA’s CEO, states that ITIDA offers a financial support estimated at 3 Million Egyptian pounds for e-signature companies, authorized by the agency to practice the activity of e-signature and provide all licensed services. This is to promote the provision of e-signature tools, and offer technical services, such as obtaining free e-signature certificates for institutions and bodies intended to activate e-signature with.

    Underscoring the importance of the role of EFSA in monitoring and supervising financial markets in order to maintain their integrity and stability, the initiative is crucial to activate the use of e-signature technology as a safe and confidential method for exchanging information and documents among employees of the stock market.
    This comes in line with law No. 15 for year 2004 regulating e-signature and its executive list issued by a ministerial decree No. 109 of 2005,
    preserving the rights of customers and ensuring the credibility and legality of electronic transactions.

    Furthermore, this technology raises the efficiency of administrative work, activates e-commerce and upgrades the performance of governmental services. There is also a follow-up process on means of collaboration among the two bodies through an executive commission.
    This commission periodically convenes with the task of pursuing the implementation of collaboration means, as well as overcoming encountered obstacles.

    In September 2009, e-signature services in government and private sector have been launched. This was the marking of the e-signature authorization at ITIDA and the Ministry of Finance that offer authentication services for e-signature among governmental bodies, as well as a number of companies to offer e-signature authentication services to various entities, public and private sectors and individuals in Egypt.
    Among the imperative applications and e-signature use is the e-government services that entail governmental administrative transactions and its services for citizens in general, such as issuing various permits, tax collection and customs duties, as well as services of civil service department (CSD).

    This encompasses requests submitted to governmental bodies, which could be realized through electronic edits issued by various governmental entities through their websites on the internet. To give them an official status, public employees of the aforementioned bodies sign the electronic edits after the completion of all procedures.

    Furthermore, e-signature authorization is used in e-commerce transactions. This includes every operation that has a commercial nature in all various transactions such as sales, contracts and other commercial legal acts, import and export, airline and hotel bookings and all kinds of bank transactions performed in an electronic form.

    According to the e-signature law, three companies have been awarded ISO 27001 for information security. They are: Egyptian Security and Network Services (SNS), Misr for Central Clearing, Depository and Registry (MCDR) and Egypt Trust.

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