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    ICT Minister Opens FDC Summit 2019

    Cairo, 17 June 2019

    The Minister of Communications and Information Technology Amr Talaat, during his inaugural speech at the Future of Data Centers (FDC) Summit 2019, held on June 16-18, in Cairo, has underlined that Egypt is keen on becoming a data center hub, given its many potentials.

    Egypt is one of the top countries in the world hosting submarine and terrestrial internet cables, extending across its lands, and transferring more than 80% of the data from Asia to Europe, and vice versa.

    Talaat stated that Egypt seeks to establish ties with African countries through a distinct network of cooperation, to transfer data and improve internet quality in these countries through its landing stations, submarine and terrestrial internet cables. He said that there is a plan of cooperation with African and Arab countries to achieve integration in this industry, given the need for exchange centers in other countries, thus helping Egypt expand in this field.

    The summit opening was attended by the Minister of Supply and Internal Trade Ali Moselhi, FDC President Amr Farouk, ICT sector leaders, Acting CEO of the Information Technology Industry Development Agency (ITIDA) Hala El Gohary, and officials of the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT).

    The summit is organized under the auspices of the ICT Minister. It includes a number of panel sessions addressing key topics and issues related to the future of data centers industry, as a key pillar of digital transformation.

    The summit is attended by a number of experts and representatives of local and international companies. An exhibition is also held on the sidelines of the summit, with the participation of 30 ICT companies.

    During his speech, the ICT Minister stated that Egyptís skilled human calibers in this field help attract investments of major international companies, specializing in big data, to host this data in Egypt, through which they will serve Arab, Middle Eastern and African markets.

    Moreover, Talaat said that work is underway to increase the number of qualified calibers in sciences and skills related to databases, through a number of initiatives and training programs implemented by the training institutes affiliated to MCIT and ITIDA. This is in addition to establishing innovation hubs in Egyptís governorates, including new branches of the Information Technology Institute (ITI) and the National Telecommunication Institute (NTI).

    Talaat, in addition, acknowledged the significance of data centers industry, with a growth rate expecting to exceed 12% per year until 2022, and a global market size of nearly $230 billion dollars. This makes a challenge to the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, where the size of data centers industry does not exceed five billion dollars, which indicates that the region did not have its fair share of this industry.

    Furthermore, the ICT Minister said that a national strategy for Artificial Intelligence (AI) has been developed. Since AI is connected to big data, Egypt, through AI, will be able to provide an added value to the data centers it hosts.

    He added that there is a plan to establish a skills base and a number of specialized faculties in AI and data science, in full cooperation with the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research, with working on marketing AI as a service, and establishing huge and advanced packages of Application Programming Interfaces (API) to launch this industry.

    Talaat, also, said that along with these efforts, a legislative and structural reform need to be made through issuing a personal data protection law, a crucial step in data centers industry. A community dialogue is held, where ICT companies share their views on this topic.

    In addition, Talaat referred to MCIT efforts to develop the cyberspace protection system.

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