18 October 2021
ICT Minister Delivers Talk at ‘Investment Opportunities in IT, Infrastructure in Egypt’ Session during Expo 2020


The Minister of Communications and Information Technology Amr Talaat has delivered a talk at the “Investment Opportunities in IT and Infrastructure in Egypt” session during Expo 2020. The session was attended by the CEO of the Information Technology Industry Development Agency (ITIDA) Amr Mahfouz, the Assistant ICT Minister for Global Information Infrastructure (GII) Mohamed Nasr Eldin, Telecom Egypt CEO and Managing Director Adel Hamed, and ITIDA Vice President (VP) and Chairperson of the Technology Innovation and Entrepreneurship Center (TIEC) Hossam Osman.

Talaat said that Egypt's pivotal geographical location connects Asia and Europe and hosts 13 subsea cables, with five more under installment. The cables are responsible for more than 90% of the data traffic in Asia and Europe. He added that Telecom Egypt is planning to launch Hybrid African Ring Path (HARP), a new subsea system outlining Africa, with the aim to provide coastal and landlocked African countries with high-speed affordable Internet.

The ICT Minister underlined that a plan is being implemented to establish a wide fiber optic connectivity coverage to serve the international data traffic crossing the Egyptian soil securely through a 4,000 km2 network. In addition, the number of international subsea cable landing stations has also been increased from 6 to ten during this year.

Talaat pointed out the success factors and investment opportunities available at the ICT sector in light of Digital Egypt strategy, which stands on three pillars: digital transformation, capacity building and technological innovation. He added that ICT is the fastest growing state sector, with a growth rate of about 16% and a contribution to the GDP of 4.5%. The sector, in addition, sees a growing increase in the number of specialists working in it, with an annual increase of 10%.

Moreover, Talaat highlighted that Egypt’s ranking in global reports has improved significantly. The country was among the top 10 improvers in the Digital Inclusion Index in 2020 and moved up eight spots on the Network Readiness Index. In addition, the average internet speed has increased seven fold, with Egypt ranking fourth in Africa in terms of the fixed broadband internet speed. Egypt also moved up 55 places in one year on the Government Artificial Intelligence (AI) Readiness Index.

When it comes to venture investments, Egyptian startups recorded the highest in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, with the volume of venture investments in Egypt during the third quarter of this year making double the investment flows last year. In addition, Egypt ranked first in the Middle East and Africa (MEA) region and 15th globally on Kearney’s Global Services Location Index (GSLI) 2021. Talaat added that around 85,000 Egyptian specialists work in twenty languages in exporting technological services to 100 countries around the world.

The ICT Minister revealed that the budget allocated for technological training programs was multiplied 22 fold, from EGP 50 million to train 4,000 young people, to EGP 1.1 billion to train 200,000. He added that the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT) is adopting a capacity building strategy that involves several stages, starting with basic ICT programs, moving to in-depth training at WE School for applied technology.

The strategy also includes training at wireless communications training institutes supervised by the National Telecom Regulatory Authority (NTRA), then specialized university education at Egypt University of Informatics, the first specialized university in ICT and related fields, in Africa and the Middle East. There are other programs to hone graduates’ skills, leading to a master’s degree in a technology discipline.

Talaat underlined that MCIT attaches great importance to promoting freelancing and qualifying freelancers’ to meet the labor market requirements. In this regards, the Ministry launched Future Work is Digital (FWD) to train 100,000 people in web development, data science, and digital marketing. The initiative has graduated 60,000 young people so far.

Furthermore, Talaat said that MCIT is establishing Creativa Innovation Hubs in different governorates to foster digital innovation. Seven Hubs have already been established, and 10 more are under construction, with the aim to have at least one Hub in each governorate. The Hubs provide business incubation and acceleration programs, technical training and consultation services for startups and entrepreneurs. In addition, MCIT is building the Knowledge City in the New Administrative Capital in line with state-of-the-art technologies to create an enabling environment for investment, innovation and creativity.

The ICT Minister also revealed that Egypt occupied an advanced spot on the World Bank’s GovTech Maturity Index (GTMI) as a result of the state’s efforts in digital transformation. He added that around 90 public services have been made available to citizens through Digital Egypt Platform, from 100 services to be launched by the end of this year.

In addition, MCIT is carrying out a large number of digital transformation projects in cooperation with different state sectors. The projects including introducing the universal health insurance system, managing the state resources, and digitizing the law enforcement system, said the ICT Minister. He added that work is underway to develop and update 200 government applications, introduce digital education, and build a digital system for real estate inventory and management.

Talaat referred to Egypt Post's development plan that aims to transform post offices into outlets for delivering digital and financial inclusion services. MCIT, in addition, is playing a pivotal role in Haya Karima (Decent Life) Initiative. The Ministry is building an information infrastructure to provide high-speed internet to homes in 1,400 villages nationwide and is organizing training programs to promote digital literacy and digital economic empowerment among citizens in those villages.

The ICT Minister toured the Egyptian pavilion at Expo 2020, where investment projects in different sectors were showcased. He praised the efforts exerted to present the Egyptian pavilion in a way that combines authenticity with modernity and reflects the country’s greatness and rich history.

It is worth mentioning that the ICT Minister is visiting Dubai, heading a high-level delegation, to participate in the 41st edition of GITEX Global and Expo 2020. He is also holding meetings with ICT multinationals to discuss investment in the Egyptian market.

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