Ministry of Communications and Information Technology
18 August 2011
During His Meeting with Eitesal and ICT Companies, the Minister Stresses: Supporting SMEs is our Priority in the Coming Period

Minister of Communications and Information Technology, Dr. Mohamed Salem, announced that the ministry launched a short and medium-term strategy to support SMEs in the field of ICT.

The announcement came as part of the speech delivered by Dr. Salem during his meeting with Eitesal and ICT companies yesterday.

He stressed that SMEs are the core of the sector’s revival especially the companies in Upper Egypt and Delta.

Dr. Salem noted the importance of supporting these companies which will play a main role in developing the sector’s strategy in the coming period. This is based on the principle of achieving benefits for everyone, the ministry as a part of the government entity, and the companies, within the framework of an effective partnership between both sides.

According to H.E. Dr. Salem, a clear decision is taken to pay all the ministry’s debts towards the companies before the end of this year. The ministry will pay companies dues out of its budget, he added.

His Excellency, Dr. Mohamed Salem clarified that the priority of all the ministry’s tenders to be launched during this year, are for local SMEs. This matches the Egyptian Cabinet directives concerning granting preference to SMEs in all sectors.

In his speech, Dr. Salem pointed out that he agreed with international ICT companies to deepen and expand partnerships with local SMEs through the ministry’s projects. Upon this, international companies shall develop new rules to allow the largest number of SMEs to take advantage of these projects. This is also to stress on the importance to form business alliances of SMEs to benefits from the projects.

Dr. Mohamed Salem called companies to create an entity unifying all ICT companies to coordinate periodically with the working group formed in the ministry to follow up on all the companies’ problems and requirements in the coming period. He also pointed out to the importance of clear standards and close supervision on the companies’ delivery operations to different agencies.

According to His Excellency, a committee should be formed from the ministry and the companies to supervise the delivery of businesses.

Dr. Salem underlined the ministry tremendous efforts to support and encourage Open Source Software (OSS). This should be accompanied by a clear strategy, in order to be able to support local businesses, diversify and expand resources, he explained.

Moreover, the debate over Open Source Software (OSS) is a healthy discussion, however, SMEs interests and its competitiveness will continue to remain our priority, he added.

Dr. Salem asked the Information Technology Industry Development Agency (ITIDA) to update ICT companies’ database. According to ITIDA’s CEO, Mr. Yasser El- Kady, ICT companies’ database is considered as a cornerstone in ICT supporting and developing process as it is the main source of information and accurate data related to the companies. 

Mr. El- Kady also invited all ICT companies to register on ITIDA’s database, in order to benefit from the services and development programs provided by the agency.

Regarding Telecom Act, Dr. Mohamed Salem announced that the amendments will be ready for the community dialogue within one month starting from now. In a later stage, it will be determined whether the amendments will be approved by the military council or the coming people’s Assembly, Dr. Salem explained.

H.E. the minister of ICT expressed his hopes that the amendments will gain the community consensus. He explained that the MCIT is developing legislations on cyberspace security and protection as well as the freedom of information exchange.

Dr. Salem announced that a high profile delegation of the MCIT leaders will pay a visit to four African countries, after the Bairam Feast. This comes in the framework of the government’s efforts to strengthen ties and open new markets for Egyptian companies in the emerging markets, especially in the Nile Basin countries. This tour is organized in coordination with H.E Dr. Fayza Abul-Naga, Minister of International Cooperation.

Eitesal chairman, Mr. Tarek Al-Hemely said that establishing a unified entity is already in process to represent Eitesal in front of all governmental bodies. The entity is to include all ICT companies members of EITESAL association which the number of its members is expected to exceed 400.

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