Ministry of Communications and Information Technology
24 August 2011
In His Meeting With SMEs Representatives Dr. Mohammed Salem Stresses: Fulfilling Company Debts is a Priority to Boost Sector Companies

Minister of Communications and Information Technology, Dr. Mohamed Salem, met representatives of SMEs working in the ICT sector. The meeting comes within the spectrum of the keenness of the ministry to follow up on the implementation of the main priorities of the ministry’s strategy announced early this month.

Supporting SMEs by fulfilling all due debts are on top of the list of the ministry’s main priorities.

During the meeting, Dr. Salem stressed that the MCIT addressed the concerned ministries about the SMEs debts working in the ICT sector.  Fulfilling the companies’ debts comes on top of priorities in the present time, Dr. Salem mentioned.  He also highlighted that this problem should be solved to provide financial liquidity to the companies in order to overcome the current phase.

The efforts to provide financial liquidity to companies encompass a loan mechanism through a cooperation protocol signed between ITIDA and the Social Development Fund (SFD), he added.

Dr. Salem pointed out that about 20 companies received loans with a total amount of 25 million EGP. His Excellency, Dr. Salem clarified that the number of the companies benefiting from the SFD loans will increase in the next few months, as ITIDA will fund half of the loan’s interest.

Having a peek on those companies’ activities, they seem to be widely diversified. Some companies are specialized in web content development for companies, e-learning solutions and software development.

Others are specialized in mobile business applications, training, infrastructure solutions, business solutions and network design.

More companies are in managing internet protocol services, fixed phone solutions, wireless networks, systems development and software rental.

Moreover, a number of companies are focusing on integrated IT solutions, network infrastructure solutions, e-payment and collection systems, business applications services, portable GPS “Global Positioning System”, web hosting services, databases, e-content management services, outsourcing services, maintenance and technical support.

Another kind of businesses is integrated school management system, automatic gates system, e-marketing, providing technical support. Another group of companies are focusing on integrated medical insurance solutions, pharmacy management applications and business development.

Concerning the “consolidated entity” of the ICT companies, the minister of Communications and Information Technology underlined that he will discuss the possible means to provide a headquarters for the new entity so as to allow the members to held their meetings and consultations there.

Dr. Salem also met a group of young people representing the Egyptian Open Source Software industry and representatives of the Civil Society working in the same field. During the meeting, they discussed a number of main trends which are considered as an informatics movement in the Open Source Software community during the coming period.

Upon this, an action plan and a comprehensive vision will be developed in order to spread Open Source Software techniques and to support young entrepreneurs.

During this meeting, H.E the Minister of ICT, expressed his support for the concept of Open Source Software.

This is the best time in Egypt to promote this industry and to encourage employees to take its fair share of the regional and global markets, he added.

A group of the ICT sector representatives presented a glimpse about the Open Source Software, its advantages, challenges and opportunities facing the local industry and to be able to compete internationally. Several Open Source Software application models were presented in many countries, regions and associations.

Furthermore, creating a database or a database for the employees working in the Egyptian Open Source Software industry is considered as a main work priority.

The attendees asked the minister of ICT, to include the concept of Open Source Software in all specialized curriculum in computers as well as the specialized training programs.

Furthermore, they discussed the possibility of initiating a pilot project to spread out this concept in order to serve a wide range of citizens. A case study and an action plan will be prepared in collaboration with the Information Technology Institute (ITI) and the Technology Innovation and Entrepreneurship Center (TIEC).

The minister stressed the importance of interaction between Open Source Software groups, ICT database, and joining the civil society organizations.

Number of companies specialized in Open Source Software reached 47 companies, and the number of employees working as specialists in this field is almost 1000 employees.

Considering this fact, it is easy to deduce that a highly active community in this industry is enrooting its presence outside the Egyptian capital, for example the city of Mansoura.

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