12 February 2024
ICT Minister Partakes in WGS 2024, Meets Google Research VP


The Minister of Communications and Information Technology Amr Talaat has participated in a session titled “How Can Governments Drive Tech Progress while Ensuring Citizen Adoption?” as part of the World Government Summit (WGS) 2024, in Dubai, UAE. The session delved into the challenges and considerations governments face in adopting new technologies while ensuring that their citizens are not left behind. It also focused on finding a balanced pace for technological advancement and the ethical use of emerging technologies and how governments should balance the ethical imperative of inclusivity with the pressure to stay technologically competitive on the global stage.
 
The Director General of Telecommunications and Digital Government Regulatory Authority (TDRA) in the UAE Majed Al Mesmar, and Professor of Machine Learning at the African Institute of Mathematical Sciences (AIMS) Moustapha Cissé joined the discussion. The session was moderated by News and Program Presenter at Sky News Arabia Imane Lahrache.
 
During the session, the ICT Minister showcased Egypt's experience in adopting technology to achieve digital transformation. He explained that the Digital Egypt strategy, developed in 2018, adopts a whole-of-society approach to attaining digital transformation. Talaat highlighted that more than 100 government databases were interconnected to form an integrated and unified citizen database, contributing to more efficient service delivery.
 
The Digital Egypt platform, noted the ICT Minister, was launched to facilitate citizens’ access to public services, with nearly 170 digital government services available through the platform now. Digital Egypt services are also available through multiple channels, including a mobile application, post offices, and a dedicated hotline. The platform is expanding to cover different types of citizen services across various sectors, he added.
 
Moreover, Talaat underscored national efforts to upgrade the digital infrastructure nationwide. He emphasized the ICT sector’s role in the Decent Life national initiative through projects aimed at developing the ICT infrastructure and providing high-speed Internet access to 60 million citizens in rural villages.
 
Additionally, the ICT Minister addressed the major challenges that governments encounter when adopting emerging technologies for digital transformation. These challenges encompass the necessity of developing an effective and comprehensive framework for rendering and governing public services while ensuring they are efficient and comprehensive enough to meet citizens’ expectations.
 
Talaat remarked that digital capacity-building programs have been expanding, marking a 100-fold increase over five years to grow from 4,000 to 400,000 trainees of various age groups in the current fiscal year. He further stated that 20 Creativa Innovation Hubs have been established as part of a plan to have one hub in each governorate to support technological innovation nationwide. The hubs offer training services to build youth capacities and incubate entrepreneurial ideas in IT.
 
On the sidelines of WGS 2024, Talaat met with Vice President and Fellow of Google Research Blaise Aguera y Arcas, and the Director of Government Affairs and Public Policy MENA at Google Martin Roeske. They discussed Google’s projects and investment plans in Egypt. The meeting was attended by the CEO of the Information Technology Industry Development Agency (ITIDA) Ahmed Elzaher and the Assistant ICT Minister for Strategy and Implementation Sherine El-Guindy.
 
It is worth noting that the ICT Minister is participating in WGS 2024 as part of a ministerial delegation led by Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly.
 
Held on February 12-14 under the theme “Shaping Future Governments,” the summit brings together thought leaders, experts, and decision-makers from around the globe to enable governments to identify innovative solutions for future challenges, further rippling to inspire and empower the next generation of governments.
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