23 March 2014
PM Visit to Smart Village

The Prime Minister, Ibrahim Mehleb visited today Smart Village (SV) accompanied by the Minister of Communications and Information Technology Atef Helmy where he toured a number of ICT Egyptian and international companies located in SV, thus communicating with their clients worldwide through high-qualified Egyptian calibers.

The visit was conducted in the presence of the Minister of Planning and International Cooperation Ashraf Al- Araby, the Minister of Irrigation Mohamed Abdel-Motleb, the Minister of Local Development Adel Labib, the Minister of Manpower Nahed Al-Ashri, Suez Canal Chairman Mohab Mamish, Giza Governor Ali Abdel-Rahman, as well as ICT executives.

During the tour, Mehleb got acquainted with some expansions and new projects taking place in Smart Village, including the under construction building of Etisalat Misr; the location of the new branch for the Arab Academy for Science, Transport and Maritime Transport; the Egyptian Financial Supervisory Authority (EFSA), Dar Al-Handasah: a leading engineering consultancy institutions worldwide; in addition to the premises of other companies to establish their headquarters in SV.

During the meeting, the ICT Minister Atef Helmy presented the main pillars of the ICT strategy (2013- 2017), the sector’s development and main priorities during the current period.

The ICT strategy aims to achieve prosperity, freedom and social justice using information technology in simple manners and with adequate costs, in order to access knowledge and services anytime and everywhere.

Helmy highlighted the digital identity pillar including the implementation of the broadband strategy guiding project with 350 million EGP investments, in cooperation with the ministries of Irrigation and Water Resources, Agriculture, Health, Justice, Education, Youth, Scientific Research, and finally, Manpower and Imigration.
He added that the strategy was concerned with supporting ICT industry, technology innovation, creating job opportunities, attracting foreign direct investments (FDI), establishing technology parks in Assiut, Asswan, Beni-Suef, Borg Al-Arab in Alexandria, and Sadat, with a budget of 23 billion EGP, in addition to increasing technology innovation and entrepreneurship and developing electronics industry.

He pointed out that the plan focused on Egypt’s geographical location; and highlighted the importance of making the best utilization of the maritime cables, in order to turn Egypt into a global hub for internet services, therefore, increasing the sector’s development to 10% from 7.6% by the end of 2014.

Mehleb started the tour with a visit to Smart Village Company (SVC) and was received by its chairman Adel Danesh who showcased the different development stages of Smart Village since its inception by the republican decree number 355 for year 2000 at Cairo Alexandria desert road.

SV was established with a main goal to embed the technology industry in Egypt and export technology services.

The number of ICT companies reached around 165 Egyptian and international companies. The number of specialized employees has reached 45 thousands. SVC future plans, as per Danesh, aims to add 80 thousand square meters to SV by the end of 2014, therefore, providing around 8 thousand direct jobs and 400 indirect jobs.

By the end of 2016, the surface to be added is to reach one million square meters - double of the current surface nearly - with investments reaching 7 billion EGP, thus, the total investments in Smart Village will reach 15 billion EGP.

Moeover, the PM and accompanying the ministers visited the new premises of the Egyptian Computer Emergency Readiness Team (EG-CERT) affiliated to the National Telecommunication Regulatory Authority (NTRA).

NTRA chairman, Hesham Al-Alayli received the PM where he got acquainted with the vital role the center plays in securing cyber-space and achieving cyber-security, thanks to the use of the latest tools and devices to achieve security and efficiency to protect communications networks in the Egyptian market.

Mehleb and the accompanying delegation visited the Center for Documentation of Cultural and Natural Heritage (CULTNAT). Yasser El-Shayeb, CULTNAT director who received the delegation, presented the center’s activities and projects to preserve the Egyptian, Pharaonic, Coptic, Islamic, natural, popular and musical heritage, in addition to its efforts to support training and employment through different projects nationwide with focus on marginalized areas in Sinai, Siwa and Nuba.

Mehleb also visited Xceed and launched the complaints hotline (16528), to receive complaints related to supply and health during the current phase, to be completed in ten days when all kind of complaints will be received. Furthermore, an e-portal was launched to communicate with the public through registering topics and laws subject to open discussion.

The new system of receiving citizens’ complaints is an efficient tool; it also opens a communications channel between citizens and the government to highlight their problems in an attempt to reach efficient and quick solutions.

This is achieved through establishing a call center for complaints that will be registered on the government complaints’ portal. Complaints will be inspected, and guidance and follow-up with concerned bodies will follow. This comes hand in hand with the evaluation of feedbacks, and communication with citizens.

Xceed CEO, Maged Taher accompanied visitors in a tour to get acquainted with the different departments providing IT services to Egyptian and global companies and their customer care on the international level, relying on the Egyptian young highly-qualified calibers. The visitors also got acquainted with the Ambulance department and its quick response to citizens calls.

The Information Technology Institute was the next stop in the PM tour. The ITI acting chairman Heba Saleh explained the training activities of the institute to qualify youth to the job market whether before graduation through (EDUEgypt) program or after graduation through the 9-month professional program. Those programs aim to link the market and industry needs with the academic life regarding the communications and IT services exports.

Building human capacity, creating job opportunities and attracting FDI are part of ITI key activities. Saleh explained that the ITI role expanded in Egypt nationwide through its different branches in SV, Alexandria, Mansoura, Assiut and Ismailia.

Mehleb highlighted the significance of developing skills to meet local and international market demands. This is in addition to matching trainees’ outputs related to innovative IT solutions with society challenges and economic growth catalysts.

The Prime Minister got acquainted with the “training for job creation” initiative targeting 1700 young people in technology fields, in cooperation with Vodafone, Raya and YAT, with their engagement to provide around 70% trainees with job opportunities.  

Mehleb and the accompanying delegation also paid a visit to some global companies like IBM and Valeo.

At the end of the tour, Mehleb witnessed the signing of a number of protocols between the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT) and some ministries.

Two protocols were signed with the Ministry of Planning and International Cooperation. The first one is for the development of the ministry’s infrastructure, via developing its e-portal, allowing the applications of the productivity initiative, developing technology infrastructure and training calibers.

The other one is a 3-year protocol which tackles the national ICT accounts, identifying the main activities of the ICT sector in order to extract indicators linking the sector to the national economy, such as its contribution to the national product, exportation, manpower, wages and growth rates. This is in addition to supporting investment decisions and promoting the ICT sector locally and internationally.

A quadrilateral protocol between MCIT and the ministries of Planning, Irrigation, Local and Administrative Development was signed to implement information infrastructure project for the Egyptian planning system through establishing the national center for spatial data on the national level affiliated to the Egyptian Survey Authority (ESA) to make the BaseMap accessible to all State Sectors.

A trilateral cooperation protocol was signed between MCIT, the Ministry of Planning and the Ministry of Local Development to establish an integrated system for the postal codes nationwide. This is to link the State’s administrative boundaries at the villages’ level till reaching streets using the postal codes as a geographical reference. This precedes the creation of a database accessible on the governmental data network also known as the G2G.

The execution of the protocol will positively affect the Egyptian post performance through keeping an updated e-registry including names and addresses of post customers, and reduce the cost and save time of dealing with post material. This will also help provide new products and services, in addition to presenting the population and economic skeletons as well as the real needs of the communities and guiding the development efforts to what is needed. Furthermore, the postal code can be used as a reference to the data on the G2G, in order to extract grouped and geographically defined indicators.
The Postal code is the foundation to complete the State’s databases on the national level. It is useful for identifying the administrative boundaries, to contribute to locating Constituencies and distributing voters to improve the electoral process and make it easier for citizens to vote.

The Premier also witnessed the signing of another protocol between MCIT and the Ministry of Manpower to develop its technology infrastructure. Another protocol was signed between MCIT and the General Secretariat of the Council of Ministers to develop its information system.

The Prime Minister also witnessed the signing of 4 cooperation protocols between the Information Technology Industry Development Agency (ITIDA) and four leading companies: IBM, Microsoft, Henkel and Valeo.

Furthermore, Mehleb witnessed the signing ceremony of new agreements between ITIDA and four of the largest international companies: IBM, Microsoft, Henkel and Valeo.

The agreements are to contribute to the increase of Egyptian IT exports with around 20 million dollars, provide new job opportunities to increase the number of employees and make new applications available to export IT services.

The protocols help to offer specialized job opportunities where Valeo and Microsoft target to hire more than 300 professionals to provide specialized high value- added services including research and development, technology and software to manage operations and accredited consultancies on advanced technologies.
Henkel targets to hire around 100 specialists to serve the logistic and technical activities in different parts of the world with different languages starting from Egypt.

ITIDA CEO Hussein El-Geretly signed with a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Microsoft General Manager Khaled Abdel-Kader to expand its business in Egypt, allowing the company to offer a diversified package of services to its customers in more than 70 countries in the Middle East and Africa.

The protocol aims to multiply the number of employees during the coming three years to serve the regional markets.

Moreover, El-Geretly signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with IBM- Egypt General Manager Amr Talaat through which the company is to offer its expertise to around 100 local software companies during two years in cloud computing.

According to the MoU, IBM-Egypt is to develop a group of applications of software services that can be used by local companies through IBM platform named Softlayer, and make these applications accessible to small and medium projects for re-sale.

Additionally, ITIDA signed a cooperation agreement with Valeo aiming to expand its business in Egypt through hiring 240 Egyptian specialized employees in the next three years to serve customers worldwide.

The French company focusing on the design, manufacturing and sale of automotive spare parts, invested more than 800 thousand working hours in 2013, the exportation of software out of Egypt’s branch reached around 20 million euros for the global manufacturers of cars during 2013. Exports take place through the company’s different branches in Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Japan, China and the United States.

ITIDA finally signed an agreement with Henkel to establish a global services center of the company in Egypt. The center is meant to implement the common operations and activities of the company including human resources, customer care services, procurement chain follow-up, preparing reports of sales and market supply, cost supervision, data management, payment and sales orders operations management.

According to the 3-year protocol, Henkel provides jobs for Egyptian calibers specialized in exporting these services during the period of the agreement. Meanwhile, ITIDA supports the company’s activities in training and human capacity building and the basic infrastructure support.

At the end of his tour in Smart Village, Mehleb and the accompanying delegation of ministers visited the exhibition organized by the Technology Innovation and Entrepreneurship Center (TIEC) comprising eight innovative thinking projects of young entrepreneurs owning start-ups, including a new technology contributing to transforming solid surfaces into touch screens displaying data, through an adhesive material provided by Vivifi.

Another project aimed to represent an educational system via internet. It contributes to solving the lack of resources in schools, through a simulation of the educational process and explanation of curricula to students via the internet provided by CoLLN.

Kashef Company also presented its new invention detecting mines of previous wars, aiming to develop areas which suffer from these problems.
Interact company provided technology solutions for overcrowded classrooms via providing interactive presentations through a special program allowing the exchange of information through lectures gathering students and teachers, and record lectures audio and video.

Videolater presented an application to help users acquire the nearest video explaining an article or piece of news through scanning it. Finally, QEyE showcased a tool to supervise the quality using high-resolution cameras. It  aims to help textiles and printing industries. Genu Company presented an application to identify counterfeit products.
Using mobile camera, the user can scan the factory information on the product ticket, which helps in identifying fake products.

About Smart Villages:
Smart Villages Company (SVC) was founded in 2000 as per the republican decree number 355 for year 2000 at Cairo- Alexandria desert road, in Abu-Rawash area - west of Cairo. It was built over a surface of 450 hectares and has now expanded to reach 700 hectares. Smart Village Egypt, the first operational Technology and Business Park, prides itself to accommodate multinational and local ICT Companies, thus opening horizons for the growth of the software, services, internet, computer manufacturing as well as the training on ICT technology, through giving privileges to implant ICT industry and automate the ministries’ working systems.

SVC was established with a capital of 100 million EGP of which 80 million EGP was funded by the private sector to build and develop the first Smart Village in charge of the development and management of Smart Villages projects.

The first phase of SV was inaugurated in September 2003 including the communications center, the businessmen services center, the conference center, the technology incubation building to accommodate new small enterprises and young investors in technology, as well as the post service center, the reception and meetings center, the bibliotheca, a printing and publishing and e-photography center.

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