21 January 2021
ICT Minister Delivers Talk at OECD High-Level Event


The Minister of Communications and Information Technology Amr Talaat has delivered a talk at the high-level virtual event organized by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Development Centre, on the launch of Africa’s Development Dynamics 2021 report. The event was attended by OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurría, and Minister of Communications, Telecommunications and Postal Services, Republic of South Africa Stella Tembisa Ndabeni-Abrahams.

Talaat stressed the importance of enhancing regional and continental cooperation to achieve digital transformation within the framework of the Digital Transformation Strategy for Africa. It was launched during the meeting of the Council of African Ministers in charge of Communication and Information Technology, in 2019, in Sharm El-Sheikh, and was approved by the political leaders of the African countries.

The strategy has several pillars, most notably achieving digital infrastructure, developing skills, adopting digital innovations, and creating decent job opportunities.

The report provided a comprehensive evidence-based analysis on each country and region’s policies for a better understanding and channeling of development in Africa, said the ICT Minister, adding that the report stressed the importance of having a robust ICT infrastructure to enable access of citizens to basic services.

Talaat commended the efforts made by African countries to promote mobile payment, render automated financial services and launch initiatives for establishing technology hubs.

The ICT Minister presented the capacity building strategy adopted by the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT) to keep pace with the developments of digital transformation and its implications in the requirements of the labor market. The strategy is implemented drawing on a pyramidal approach, targeting proving a broad base of citizens with basic technology skills. This is achieved through carrying out scalable programs along with the private sector, with a gradual progress into more in-depth programs in line with the industry trends.

Young people are first trained to establish small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Specialized training programs are then provided to freelancers nationwide. This comes in light of the plan of establishing digital innovation centers nationwide to provide training and programs for fostering digital innovation.

Talaat said that Egypt University of Informatics (EUI) is being established, and Digital Egypt Builders Initiative (DEBI) is being implemented, targeting equipping people with digital skills, who can compete globally.

A number of policies were adopted, targeting facilitating the establishment of SMEs, and studying and tackling the obstacles they face. This is in addition to carrying out business accelerator programs according to a system where the efforts of the government, the private sector and the academia are synergized. The ICT Minister added that an ambitious strategy is implemented for attaining digital financial inclusion.

Egypt is one of the first countries to ratify the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), Talaat said, underlining Egypt's readiness to unite efforts with all African countries to link supply chains from different countries and regions and to ease the access of SMEs to regional and sub-regional markets. This comes out of believing in the importance of cooperation to provide solutions in areas such as digital taxation, personal data protection and cross-border data transfer.

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