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    ICT Industry Based on Innovation and Creativity, ICT Minister Says

    Cairo, 20 December 2018

    During the "Creativity and Culture in the Digital Society Age" symposium held in Al Masrah Al Sagheir at Cairo Opera House, organized by the general directorate of cultural and intellectual activity of the Ministry of Culture, and run by Gamal Al-Shaer, the Minister of Communications and Information Technology Amr Talaat ascertained that the ICT industry is based on creativity and innovation. He pointed out that investing in building the Egyptian human being is one of the Stateís priorities and the cornerstone of the Ministry's strategies as the highest added value in this industry.

    During the Symposium, Talaat reviewed the efforts exerted by the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT), within the framework of investing in building the capacities of young people and providing job opportunities through the provision of training programs, aiming at providing training to 20,000 young people within the next three years using direct training techniques and digital platforms. He referred to the most important initiatives being implemented in this regard including the Next technology leaders (NTL) initiative and Wazeefa Tech initiative, aiming to link training programs with industry needs and provide training in specialized technologies. This is in addition to launching a digital academy for providing free self-training for Arab youth; developing a specialized training program for providing training to 1500 young people in the establishment, operation and maintenance of fiber optic networks; and establishing the IT national academy of for People with Disabilities (PwDs).

    The ICT Minister also pointed out that a number of technology parks were inaugurated in four governorates to apply the principle of justice in technological development. MCIT is also cooperating with the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research to implement eight technological innovation hubs in Egyptian universities to create a system for gathering the owners of companies who wish to find solutions to problems facing them. Discussions are being held with the Minister of Education and Technical Education for introducing computer science in school curricula and with the Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research to increase the number of faculties specialized in Computer Technology and Communication Sciences. He pointed out that technological development and reliance on Artificial Intelligence (AI) will lead to eliminating some jobs and creating other new jobs.

    Talaat discussed cooperation aspects with the Ministry of Culture through establishing a unified digital platform for the Egyptian cultural heritage using the latest information technologies and implementing a digital transformation program for the cultural palaces nationwide to serve culturally and artistically gifted people throughout Egypt. This is in addition to providing high-speed Internet services to cultural palaces to facilitate access to all cultural services. He also reviewed MCIT efforts to improve communication networks, develop telecommunications infrastructure, pointing to Egypt's distinguishing location, since several submarine cables pass through it, thus contributing to
    establish big data centers, and link African countries to Europe through a technical and information corridor.

    Talaat added that the digital transformation means to use ICTs in all aspects of life. He ascertained that MCIT serves as a cross sector that helps in enabling the different sectors of the country to implement digital transformation projects and build integrated databases. Digital transformation will contribute to improving the level of services provided to citizens, raise operational efficiency, and combat financial and administrative corruption. He stated that MCIT seeks to provide more than 20 government digital services that will be launched in succession during the next 18 months in all government sectors, to be provided to citizens through mobile phones applications, digital platforms, government service centers, call centers and Egypt Post offices. He referred to the development witnessed by Egypt Post, to be a center for providing integrated government services to citizens.
    As for the transition to the digital economy, Talaat said that it is the responsibility of all sectors of the state, hailing the decision of the Minister of Finance to remove computers from the list of non-essential goods, which emphasizes that the government considers computers one of the requirements of production.
    In response to a question raised by one of the participants, on MCIT readiness to confront cybercrimes, Talaat reviewed the legislative system prepared by the Ministry, including the issuance of the cybercrime law, the preparation of the draft law on the protection of personal data and the draft law that aims to protect e-commerce.

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