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    MCIT, WB Organize ‘Unleashing Digital Development in Egypt’ Workshop

    Cairo, 5 February 2019

    The Minister of Communications and Information Technology Amr Talaat highlighted the significance of supporting and promoting the transition to the digital economy in contributing to strengthening the State's productive capacity, reducing the cost of transactions, building human capacities and creating new job opportunities. Digital economy is based on using advanced digital technology applications in production, which facilitates trade exchange through e-commerce platforms.

    This was during the speech delivered by the Director of Central Department for Information and Decision Support at the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT) Nagwa El-Shenawi on behalf of the ICT Minister, during a workshop on “Unleashing Digital Development in Egypt”, organized by the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT), in cooperation with the Egyptian Information Telecom Electronics Software Alliance (EITESAL) and the World Bank (WB), in light of MCIT vision and plan to achieve digital transformation in cooperation with all the State’s sectors.

    The event was attended by the World Bank- Country Manager for the Middle East and North Africa Marina Wes, in addition to a number of experts from the World Bank and representatives of local and international ICT companies working in Egypt.

    During the speech, efforts employed by MCIT in cooperation with the State’s different sectors to implement a large number of projects to achieve the transition to a fully integrated digital society were reviewed. The most prominent projects were the launch of more than 20 digital government services, offered via different channels, the establishment of the City of Knowledge in the New Administrative Capital to strengthen research and development activities, and the project of issuing the unified card, in cooperation with the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) within the financial inclusion initiative. This is in addition to automating the comprehensive health insurance system in cooperation with the Ministry of Health; developing services provided by Egypt Post; and establishing a digital platform for the Egyptian cultural content in cooperation with the Ministry of Culture.

    In addition, the speech tackled the implementation of the presidential initiative for enhancing remote diagnosis and telemedicine services using IT tools, and cooperation with the Ministry of Investment and International Cooperation through “Fekretak Sherketak” (your idea is your enterprise) initiative to support startups and Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in information technology areas. This is in addition to developing a database of all information related to the different investment opportunities.

    The speech included also the projects implemented by MCIT to develop telecommunications infrastructure, being one of the most important pillars and requirements of the digital economy. This is in addition to creating a supportive legislative environment and implementing the recommendations of the National E-Commerce Strategy, since an international conference on e-commerce is due to be held in Egypt by mid-2019.

    The workshop discussed several topics, including the launch of the digital economy assessment project in Egypt, since the World Bank is to provide technical support and assistance to Egypt in implementing various economic and technical studies. Egypt has a number of advantages such as its advanced ICT infrastructure and highly qualified human calibers in ICT areas. These advantages enabled Egypt to be the focus of attention of international institutions and companies to invest in Egypt after the breakthroughs achieved at all the economic levels, most prominent of which is the growth of the ICT sector which managed to achieve remarkable growth during the recent period, reaching 16.4% during the second quarter of the current fiscal year 2018-2019. The ICT sector is expected to achieve a growth rate of approx. 17% by the end of the current fiscal year in light of available promising opportunities.

    The digital economy assessment project aims to assess the current situation of digital transformation in Egypt to identify the most important challenges and opportunities and the requirements of successful transformation, focusing on promising sectors, in light of a number of successful international experiences in this field. The study is expected to conclude with a set of recommendations to promote digital transformation in Egypt and enhance its competitiveness. During the workshop, the World Bank's Global Report on Innovative Business Models was launched.

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