20 May 2020
AU Specialized Technical Committee on Communication and ICT Bureau Meeting

Egypt, represented by the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT), chaired the Extraordinary Meeting of the African Union (AU) Specialized Technical Committee on Communication and ICT (STC-CICT) Bureau, organized through videoconference, on May 5, in collaboration with the AU Department of Infrastructure and Energy (DIE).
The Minister of Communications and Information Technology Amr Talaat chaired the meeting, in the presence of the Commissioner for Infrastructure and Energy at the African Union Commission (AUC) Amani Abou-Zeid and a number of ministers from Burundi, Malawi, Sierra Leone and Djibouti.
The meeting discussed the role of the ICT sector in providing technological solutions for supporting the AU Member States’ efforts and plans for facing COVID-19 and curbing its spread. It also discussed the Report of Experts and adopted the work plan for the current and the coming periods, including the key measures and policies and the partnerships with ICT companies and financial institutions, for leveraging ICT in overcoming COVID-19.
During the meeting, the ICT Minister delivered a talk where he stated that the current crisis reflects the importance of developing national strategies for building a digital society to serve as the cornerstone for development. He highlighted the significance of having a robust ICT infrastructure to ease access of citizens to basic services, with respecting social distancing.
Talaat presented the efforts of the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT) to support the State’s plan for facing COVID-19, thus encouraging citizens to stay at home and supporting e-learning. This is in addition to supporting the efforts of the Ministry of Health to raise awareness of COVID-19, rendering high quality telecommunication services to medical staff and promoting Egypt Post’s role as an outlet for providing financial services to irregular workers suffering the repercussions of COVID-19.
In addition, the ICT Minister referred to the African App Launchpad (AAL) presidential initiative that targets empowering young Africans to develop applications to overcome common challenges. He highlighted the importance of developing e-health applications to overcome COVID-19, as well as applications enabling remote work.
For her part, Abou-Zeid underlined the importance of the ICT infrastructure in enabling the African countries to address the socioeconomic challenges caused as a result of the spread of COVID-19. She, also, called for implementing the African strategy for digital transformation to help the AU Member States facing difficulties and challenges achieving digital transformation.
Abou-Zeid, also, stressed on the importance of focusing on data protection and Internet security, especially for children using modern technologies.
Furthermore, the meeting witnessed issuing a declaration for synergizing efforts between African countries to overcome COVID-19 using ICT.
It is worth mentioning that during the STC-CICT Third Ordinary Session, held in Sharm El Sheikh, last October, Egypt was elected Chair of STC-CICT Bureau, for two years, from 2019 to 2021, while Burundi, Malawi, Sierra Leone and Djibouti were elected members of the Bureau.
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