Ministry of Communications and Information Technology
11 October 2011
Taking the Lead To Target Africa: ICT Minister Receives Nile Basin Ambassadors to Foster Cooperation

Minister of Communications and Information Technology, Dr. Mohamed Salem, meets nine of Nile Basin countries ambassadors in Cairo. The Nile Basin meeting aims to discuss means of cooperation between Egypt and the Nile Basin countries and introduce them to ICT community in Egypt. 

The meeting also displays a number of strategic cooperation projects between both sides. It introduces programs and activities of most prominent affiliates of the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology, such as the Information Technology Institute (ITI) and the National Telecommunications Institute (NTI).

Ambassadors and delegations had a tour in Smart Village, during which, they visited Xceed call center and the Cultural and Natural Heritage Documentation Centre (CULTNAT). The guests also watched a documentary on ancient Egyptian history: pharaonic, Coptic, Islamic and modern history using latest IT equipment.  They were also introduced to the most important local and global IT companies’ activities.

Dr. Mohamed Salem announced that this meeting comes within the framework of activating the focus of international cooperation strategy of MCIT, which aims to trend strongly towards the African market and to increase cooperation with Nile Basin countries and to work on the integration of future vision of the African Continent in the field of ICT. 

That comes out of our belief in the necessity of establishing a network of close and strong ties with African countries, especially the Nile Basin countries by creating channels, common goals, regulating business frameworks and governing rules serving policies and economics of all parties in Africa in this domain, he added. 

It was agreed that Egypt provides the required technical support to Nile Basin countries through the transfer of expertise in the fields of training and improvement of technical skills, youth empowerment in IT, capacity building and technical cooperation in ICT and the enrichment of cultural and knowledge communication in these areas.

Furthermore, Dr. Salem explained that this month witnesses the launch of the greatest Egyptian-African project in human development, training and capacity building.

Egyptian government chaired by Dr. Essam Sharaf offers this project to Nile Basin countries to develop human skills and raise the efficiency of African calibers specialized in ICT.  It is scheduled that Dr. Salem pays a number of visits to Nile Basin countries during December 2011, to Kenya, Uganda, and Ethiopia, in order to activate a number of programs and events based on cooperation, partnership and exchange of interests and expertise between Egypt and Nile Basin countries during the coming period.

Cooperation to support the establishment of communications infrastructure in Uganda with the help of Telecom Egypt was also announced. The Egyptian mission studied with Ugandan officials the proposal for establishing new projects in Uganda depending on Egyptian expertise in outsourcing, call centers and developing communications networks infrastructure.

Such projects have a great role in leading Uganda to the technological renaissance, by taking advantage of the Egyptian experience and expertise, especially in establishing smart villages, call centers and outsourcing services.

An Egyptian delegation will fly to Ethiopia and South Sudan, next week. The delegation includes experts from the Information Technology Institute to discuss means of providing training and human development services.  It also includes a number of leaders from Telecom Egypt to take advantage of the Company's expertise in the establishment of communication services infrastructure, especially in South Sudan.

In the framework of cooperation on technical training and empowerment, it is scheduled to present a range of specialized programs in the middle of this month for the benefit of a group of specialists and professionals in the field of ICT from Rwanda, Eritrea and Burundi.

Concerning cyberspace security, the Ugandan side asked the Egyptian Ministry of ICT to assess the actual requirements to establish and activate cyberspace security system and national centers for communications emergencies response, aka CERT (Computer Emergency Response Team) in terms of equipment, calibers as well as specialized training in this area.

In the  natural heritage documentation arena, it has been agreed to activate the Letter of Intent through the cooperation between the Ministry of Tourism and Culture of Uganda and the Ministry of Communications of Uganda, to coordinate to send an expert from the Egyptian Heritage Documentation Centre to develop an action plan to implement the project in order to be launched after one year, precisely in October 2012 in the fiftieth anniversary of Uganda independence.

In the nascent state of Southern Sudan, the Sudanese side welcomed the Egyptian initiative to train South Sudan calibers on information technology. It also expressed its deep desire to activate this constructive cooperation.

There were also a lot of contacts with countries such as Eritrea, Burundi and Rwanda concerning training programs and youth empowerment in ICT sector; as many coordination efforts are exerted to receive trainees during this current month.

The Ethiopian side welcomed the commencement of implementing a number of training programs, and receiving a delegation of Egyptian experts to discuss mechanisms to start activating and finding suitable solutions to the training labs.

The Kenyan side also expressed deep desire to learn about the required mechanisms to establish smart buildings through exchanging Egyptian expertise in this area. This is additional to discussions and meetings that are currently held with the rest of Nile Basin countries.

On the other side, Egypt exerted tremendous efforts to modernize the postal sector in Africa through providing required specialized technical assistance and training human calibers, in addition to transferring distinguished Egyptian expertise specialized in presenting postal services and products, setting and developing the systems in this vital area.

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