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    ICT, Investment Ministers Open “Digital Nation 6” Conference

    Cairo, 4 March 2019

    The Minister of Investment and International Cooperation Sahar Nasr and the Minister of Communications and Information Technology Amr Talaat have opened the 6th round of the annual conference of the Chamber of Information Technology and Communications (CIT) “Digital Nation 6”, held on March 4-6, under the auspices of the ICT Minister. CIT Chairman Waleed Gad and around 100 ICT investment companies attended the conference.

    Activities include holding an exhibition for large, medium and micro enterprises, organizing a series of seminars and workshops on new technologies, and arranging a number of competitions to promote creativity and innovation within companies.

    “Digital Nation” is a top priority for Egypt. The Ministry of Investment and International Cooperation (MIIC) made sure that the investment law supports the telecom sector to bring additional investments, with the presence of technology parks, stated Nasr. She highlighted the importance of creating an enabling environment for innovation, depending on startup companies and young ICT-based ideas.

    Nasr said that MIIC launched “Fekretak Sherketak” initiative in cooperation with the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT) to support startup companies. It targets supporting youth ideas in order to start their activities. The vast majority of projects in the initiative involve ICT industry, and aim at facilitating the lives of Egyptians, and providing state services in a simple and smooth technological manner. This emphasizes the vital role of the sector in coming up with new ideas to assist the government, reach all segments of society, and grow a large economic segment in Egypt, added Nasr.

    She mentioned that after issuing the new investment law with its executive regulations, investors became able to have more privileges that promote investment. This helped overcome some difficulties in IT and industries in running production lines of the local manufacturing of electronics. This, accordingly, will help Egypt become a leading country in manufacturing IT products and exporting them abroad.

    The investment Minister referred to successful models of fruitful cooperation with MCIT, putting the investment climate at the forefront and helping Egypt move eight places up in the “Doing Business” indicator, compared to last year.

    This comes as MIIC and MCIT cooperate to restructure and develop all services provided to investors through investors services centers, in addition to using ICT to provide new services including e-payment and e-signature. This is in addition to launching Egypt investment map that provides a comprehensive image of the investment climate in Egypt, including national projects, investment opportunities, laws, regulations and incentives for investors.

    MCIT has also supported decision-makers in MIIC by establishing a business intelligence platform that builds on seeing and following performance indicators with complete transparency within the system, to help secure a continuous and sustainable improvement.

    Furthermore, cooperation has been established targeting the development and automation of free zone services all over Egypt, to improve the quality of services provided and increasing investment opportunities.

    The valuable “Digital Nation” forum reflects the goal we seek to achieve, said Talaat during his inaugural speech. He referred to his meetings with a large number of government officials and international ICT companies during the Mobile World Congress (MWC 2019) in Barcelona last week. Meetings witnessed praising and showing interest of the economic growth in Egypt during the current period. He highlighted that the ICT sector grew by 14% in the first quarter of the current fiscal year, followed by a growth of 16% in the second quarter.

    Talaat added that MCIT strategy endorses building calibers in ICT with its latest and advanced specialties, and helping state sectors achieve the digital transformation. He referred to the initiatives that MCIT has implemented in capacity building and supporting technological innovation and entrepreneurship, such as “Fekretak Sherketak” in collaboration with MIIC. It received and examined 600 startup applications, 60 of which will be supported and introduced to business accelerators, with encouraging investors to implement joint projects with them.

    This is in addition to “Wazeefa Tech” initiative, implemented in cooperation with Nasser Social Bank to prepare calibers specialized in modern IT branches, targeting 1500 young people in its first phase. Moreover, a digital academy was launched to provide young people with free interactive training in Arabic in nine different IT specialties, having 100 hours registered so far.

    Furthermore, work proceeds on the “Next Technology Leaders” initiative, and the expansion of MCIT training institutes by building eight new branches of the Information Technology Institute (ITI) and the National Telecommunication Institute (NTI) associated with innovation and entrepreneurship centers, and established inside eight regional universities reaching 13 branches by the end of this year, then building new branches.

    Talaat said that the digital transformation project that MCIT implements in cooperation with different state sectors, represent significant opportunities for creative young people and startup companies working in ICT. He said that work proceeds in projects of automating 25 main services, with each including a group of subservices, making a total of 100 major services and subservices to cover all the needs of citizens. This will be launched within a year in Port Said as a first stage.

    The ICT Minister presented the major projects and services including the implementation of phase one of the comprehensive health insurance project in Port Said, civil and criminal services, in cooperation with the Ministry of Interior, local entities’ services, in cooperation with the Ministry of Local Development, and investment zones services, in cooperation with MIIC. This is in addition to the farmer’s smart card, in cooperation with the Ministry of Agriculture, ration card services, in cooperation with the Ministry of Supply, and the unified card project, in cooperation with the Central Bank of Egypt, connecting 28 million citizens through a bank or post account.

    Talaat said that efforts are being exerted to achieve a participatory paperless government that operates through digital systems and monitors performance through digitized performance indicators.

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