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    Ministry of Emigration, MCIT Co-organize Visit for Egyptian Expat Students to Smart Village

    Cairo, 21 September 2020

    Within the framework of the Egyptian Expat Students initiative, launched by the Ministry of Emigration and Egyptian Expatriates' Affairs, the Minister of Communications and Information Technology Amr Talaat has received the Minister of Emigration Nabila Makram, accompanied by a number of Egyptian expat students who are currently in Egypt, to present the development achieved in Egypt in the ICT field.

    Talaat said that the present young Egyptians represent Egypt’s promising youth, and that we always look forward to their contribution to building the country through education and work, whether inside or outside Egypt.

    He presented the strategy of the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT) for building Digital Egypt, relying in all its projects on ICT. The strategy is implemented according to three main pillars: achieving digital transformation, developing digital skills and promoting technological innovation. These pillars are based on three bases: the information infrastructure, the legislative structure and an integrated digital economy.

    The ICT Minister presented the projects implemented to achieve digital transformation and render digital government services, the most prominent of which is applying the universal health insurance system, starting with a pilot project in Port Said City. This is in addition to many projects, including the automation of university hospitals, the transformation to digital universities, and the law enforcement project.

    Moreover, Talaat referred to the efforts made for the transfer of governmental organizations to the New Administrative Capital, revolutionizing government performance through the transformation into a participatory government.

    The government gives high priority to developing youth’s digital skills, said the ICT Minister, adding that MCIT targets training 110,000 trainees this year, at an EGP 400 million cost, in collaboration with major companies. This is achieved through carrying out several capacity building initiatives, such as Future Work is Digital (FWD) for training 100,000 young people in a year and a half, at a USD 16 million cost; and Digital Egypt Builders Initiative (DEBI) that targets training 1,000 university graduates every year, with engineering and computer science  majors, at an annual cost of over EGP 400 million.

    This is in addition to establishing the Knowledge City in the New Administrative Capital, with its first phase including four facilities for training, Assistive Technology (AT) development and applied research, as well as Egypt University of Informatics (EUI) which is the first specialized university in ICT in the Middle East and Africa, added the ICT Minister.

    Promoting technological innovation, a project is implemented to establish Digital Egypt innovation centers in seven regional universities, as five innovation centers were established in Menoufia, Mansoura, Qena, Sohag and Minya Governorates this year, with another center to be opened in Aswan in December. Work is also underway for establishing an innovation center in Ismailia and two in Cairo, one near Cairo University and the other near Ain Shams University. Three more centers are to be inaugurated in Alexandria, Tanta and Zagazig, Talaat stated.

    He also said that a project is implement to boost internet speed in a year, at a cost reaching EGP 30 billion, which helped increase the average fixed broadband speed in Egypt, from 6.5 Mbit/s to 31.4 Mbit/s. Another project is also implemented to connect the 32,000 state buildings with a fiber optic network in 36 months, with over 5,000 buildings already connected.

    The ICT Minister referred to the most significant ICT indicators in the last fiscal year. The ICT sector’s growth rate reached about 15.2%, with a GDP of EGP 108 billion, compared to EGP 93 billion in the previous fiscal year, and a contribution to the GDP of 4.5%. This percentage is expected to hit 8% within three years, he added.

    For her part, the Minister of Emigration thanked the ICT Minister for this opportunity, introducing the state’s efforts in the ICT industry and the Smart Village and the companies it include.

    We always talk about “brain drain” she said, adding that the present young people are taking their first steps abroad, so it was necessary that they learn about the Egyptian efforts, the modern developed Egypt and the digital transformation in Egypt, as these young minds need to know their country.

    Makram, speaking to the Egyptian students, said that she is not against legal emigration, but in case they decided to settle abroad, they should not forget Egypt, as it is their homeland. She added that when Egyptian expat students are abroad, their target should remain honoring their homeland, and if they decided to come back, the tours organized by the Ministry of Emigration will help them explore the available job vacancies in Egypt.

    The Emigration Minister highlighted that it is important for young people to learn about the digital development in Egypt, the effort exerted and the political leadership directives to all ministers to develop in all sectors. Defending Egypt is not achieved through words or songs, but through correct information; therefore the Ministry of Emigration organizes such tours for young Egyptian expats to provide information about the current situation in Egypt in terms of development. She underlined that the digital development they are witnessing will make them proud of their country.

    The meeting included an open discussion with the young Egyptian expats, where they had several questions and inquiries in a number pillars pertaining to MCIT efforts in protecting citizens’ personal data, promoting entrepreneurship, providing technological training to the employees at the State's administrative apparatus and harnessing technology to serve citizens in different areas, such as transportation and health.

    The meeting was attended by the Deputy ICT Minister for Administrative Development, Digital Transformation and Automation Khaled El Attar and the Deputy ICT Minister for Institutional Development Ghada Labib.

    Following the meeting, the Egyptian expat students took a tour in Smart Village that brings together a large number of ICT companies. They explored these companies’ specializations, including software industry and ICT services, as well as digital skills training. The students commended the ICT development they witnessed, and Smart Village for the specialized leading companies it includes, comparable to what they see abroad.

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