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    ICT Minister Witnesses Signing Agreement between MCIT, NPA, Al-Ahram to Avail all Al-Ahram Publications on Egypt Digital Heritage Platform

    Cairo, 6 September 2020

     The Minister of Communications and Information Technology Amr Talaat, the Chairman of the National Press Authority (NPA) Abdel-Sadek El-Shorbagy and the Chairman of Al-Ahram Organization Abdel-Mohsen Salama have witnessed the signing of an agreement between the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT), NPA and Al-Ahram Organization, to avail Al-Ahramís cultural, media and press content on Egyptís digital heritage platform.
     
    Pursuant to the agreement, MCIT will work to avail Al-Ahram publications issues, since its inception, indexed and classified, using Optical Character Recognition (OCR), data science and Artificial Intelligence (AI).
     
    The agreement aims to utilize ICT as a key driver for the development of all industries and businesses, in general, and the cultural content, in particular; highlight Egyptís leading role as a hub of civilization and culture; preserve the Egyptian heritage for future generations; enrich the available digital Arabic content in all its forms; and increase export opportunities for the literary and cultural content industry by supporting the content digital transformation.
     
    The ICT Minister stated that the agreement reflects the significance of making the Egyptian cultural content available to Internet users and preserving Egypt's cultural leadership. It also highlights the concerted efforts of all parties to build a platform for Egyptís cultural content and make it available to researchers in various fields. This is achieved through a digital platform that allows institutions with cultural, media, press or other content, to display their content through it, Talaat said, adding that the project is a key step towards building Digital Egypt.
     
    Talaat underlined the importance of the project given the added value it helps achieve, in light of the global efforts to achieve the transition to a knowledge-based economy. He said that the latest global technologies will be adopted to implement the project that will enable Al-Ahram to preserve its media legacy, which serves as a documentation of Egyptís history.
     
    For his part, El-Shorbagy thanked the ICT Minister for the effort exerted with the communication and coordination between MCIT and press institutions. The first project will be implemented with Al-Ahram, that possesses a precious and rare heritage, for launching Egyptís digital heritage platform, said El-Shorbagy, adding that the project will then be implemented with other press institutions.
     
    Salama said that the agreement is the first concrete step in implementing the cooperation, representing an initial step followed by important steps on the road to digitization and achieving technological transformation.
     
    The three year agreement stipulates that Al-Ahram, with NPA approval, commits to provide MCIT with a copy of the cultural, media and press content it solely owns. This includes Al-Ahram publications issues since its issuance, to date, digitized or undigitized, as well as the recent content, to be availed on Egyptís digital heritage platform, according to the terms of this agreement, taking into account Al-Ahramís sole ownership of this content, and MCIT commitment to take all necessary measures to secure it.
     
    The agreement comes as an affirmation from NPA on the importance of availing the national press institutionsí cultural content on the platform, as this helps enrich the Egyptian cultural content. It also reflects the heritage and cultural value of Al-Ahramís media, press and cultural content, and the importance of renewing it according to the latest and best programs and advanced technologies that enable its controlled availability to researchers and scholars at the national and international levels.
     
    This is achieved in a way that befits this contentís value, with securing it with the technological devices and means that MCIT has, thus achieving the best economic returns for Al-Ahram, and in light of NPA approval to provide Al-Ahramís electronic archive to be available in the project.
     
    The agreement was signed by the Deputy ICT Minister for Institutional Development Ghada Labib, the Head of the Digital Transformation Sector at NPA Medhat Abdel Khaleq, and the Director of Al-Ahram Organization and Information Technology Center Ashraf Badr, in the presence of the Legal Consultant to MCIT Joseph Edward.






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