15 September 2004
At Gitex Dubai 2004: Egypt Promotes its National CIT Initiatives Regionally

Cairo, September 9, 2004--Reaching to the Region at Gitex Dubai 2004, a full-fledged picture representing the Egyptian ICT industry will be showcased at the event: High-level governmental presence, national initiatives to promote the use of ICTs amongst citizens as well as 30 of Egypt’s leading ICT companies working in telecommunications, IT services and applications, hardware and software development will comprise the Egyptian participation.

The Egyptian presence in the Gitex 2004 event will be featured at three locations: the Mainland, Hall 8 of software, Hall 5 of communication services and the Shopper; showcasing Egypt’s national pavilion, chief 22 ICT companies as well as Egypt’s telecom regulator (The National Telecom Regulatory Authority www.tra.gov.eg), in addition to the Smart Village, Egypt’s technology Park.

Concurrent to the Egypt-Gitex activities, a trade mission organized by the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology www.mcit.gov.eg will be heading for Dubai. The delegation is composed of 15 companies and their agenda includes site visits to the show, meetings with government officials, as well as business and field tours of leading ICT institutions in Dubai.

From Egypt to the Region
Over the past two years Egypt launched four unique national initiatives to promote and spread the use of ICTs amongst people. After confirming success, these initiatives were presented to the world at global events as success stories and models to be adopted. Several countries in the Region and Africa are already studying the unique models for possible implementation. Egypt at this stage is providing its expertise in the implementation process.

Egypt’s unique models
Working towards the priorities of the e-readiness component of Egypt’s Information Society Imitative, a number of national initiatives were launched; all based on the principles of cooperation and partnership between the public and private sectors.

The Subscription-Free Internet model, implemented by Telecom Egypt www.telecomegypt.com.eg in cooperation with ISPs since 2002, is considered an innovative venture that enabled internet access through fixed phone lines, at the cost of a local phone call. Thus far, more than one million households have accessed the service nationwide. Subsequently, last May, President Mubarak launched Egypt’s Broadband Initiative which targets the business sector and heavy users of the Internet. The e-readiness component also includes the PC for Every Home scheme, an accessible way to obtain a home computer on instalments, with the fixed telephone line as collateral. With close collaboration with the civil society , more than 1000 Information Technology Clubs are found in dense and remote areas of Egypt with a message to promote IT awareness regardless of skills, gender, and economic standing. In close partnership with NGOs and local organizations, the Clubs offer affordable access to computers, Internet, IT training and house software libraries. Through IT Clubs, the Ministry of CIT is ensuring that IT is part of local communities; linking the average Egyptian to the global information society.

Unique environment
Over the past year, the Pyramids Smart Village www.smart-villages.com, Egypt’s technology Park has proved to be the attraction scene to the global ICT community. A 450-acre technology park dedicated to modern-day technological advancement is a self-contained business environment, equipped to sustain a hub of IT excellence offering state-of-the-art infrastructure. The Village has steadily attracted leading international firms offering an attractive incentive package that includes a ten-year tax exemption. Global communications and IT firms such as Alcatel, Microsoft, Motorola, Orascom, and Vodafone are relocating their offices as well as their development and support centers. Similarly, Egyptian entities are already enjoying the exclusive environment offered at the site; such as Xceed-Telecom Egypt’s state-of-the-art contact center facility, the Center for Documentation of Cultural and Natural Heritage. Due to be completed over two more phases the Smart Village will embrace on its grounds a financial district housing the Cairo Alexandria Stock Exchange, the Capital Market Authority and leading financial and investment institutions in Egypt and the Region; this, is in addition to two specialized buildings dedicated to SMEs working in the ICT field to encourage opportunities for business expansion and enjoy the favorable environment.

The spread and the use of ICTs in Egypt has witnessed exponential growth due to the government lead promotional activities, and correspondingly, the industry showed exponential expansion in developing. Significantly, Telecom Egypt adds one million fixed lines annually, similarly, close to 70 000 new mobile subscribers are added monthly, this is in addition to the continuous upgrade of the telecom network and the introduction of new technologies to accommodate the needs of the modernizing community. Smart new laws governing the sector on intellectual property rights, telecoms (enforced by an independent telecom regulatory authority) and e-signature were indispensable steps towards empowering the sector; in addition to legislation bringing banking, labor and investment procedures to world standards.

For more information on Egypt’s National Initiatives kindly visit www.egyptatgitex.com
For more information on Egypt’s participation & specific company contacts at Gitex Dubai 2004, kindly reach www.egyptatgitex.com

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