7 April 2019
ICT Minister Meets Saudi Counterpart to Discuss Cooperation in Digital Transformation

The Minister of Communications and Information Technology Amr Talaat has received his Saudi counterpart Abdullah bin Amer Alswaha, heading a high-level delegation of government officials, where they discussed enhancing cooperation, experience exchange, business integration, and strategic partnerships in relevant fields, and agreed on the Egyptian-Saudi agenda for cooperation in digital transformation.

Both ministers headed an expanded meeting, including officials from the Egyptian Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT) and its Saudi counterpart. The meeting presented the two countries’ visions to develop a diversified and sustainable economy and achieve growth in the ICT sector, and the key projects and initiatives carried out to achieve digital transformation.

During the meeting, Talaat hailed the close historical ties between Egypt and Saudi Arabia, and highlighted the significance of the visit in enhancing cooperation and joint work. A number of agreements in ICT and post fields are to be signed and followed up on between the two countries. Talaat expressed his hope that the ICT sector would be a model of close cooperation, and an example followed in other sectors.

The ICT sector has become a participatory sector, on which other sectors rely, for the techniques and solutions it provides, stated Talaat. Therefore, the sector shoulders the responsibility of empowering other sectors to achieve their development plans, he added. Talaat said that this visit is the first in a series of reciprocal visits between the two sides, stating that the Saudi Minister invited him to visit Riyadh in the coming period.

On his part, Alswaha expressed his pleasure of this visit that comes in light of the distinguished Egyptian-Saudi ties at all levels. He said that the elements of success of this creative partnership are already available, because of the changing rules of competitiveness with the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) solutions, relying on the creative contributions of human minds, abilities and digital assets.

“Our ambition is to build joint digital economy and society between the two countries, thus our societies can benefit from the redefinition of interaction in health, education and all life aspects, and communicate reliably and safely, whether in Saudi Arabia, Egypt, or around the world,” said Alswaha. He added, “This is an opportunity to bridge the digital gap in all our affairs, ending up with building a new economy based on new working methods and all related to the digital economy.” He hopes that the coming meetings will witness work as one team, and that the foundation of this creative partnership in all its stages will be laid.

In addition, the meeting explored the avenues of joint cooperation and investment between the two countries, to promote innovation and entrepreneurs, open the markets for startups, and develop digital solutions to serve mega projects in both countries.

The two sides agreed on exchanging expertise in developing human capacity in ICT through developing digital training curricula in a number of fields, transferring and exchanging knowledge and successful experiences in capacity building in Egypt and Saudi Arabia, to boost human capital and enhance cooperation between business and academia.

Moreover, the meeting highlighted the significance of exchanging expertise in raising digital awareness among all segments of society to bridge the digital gap, and create a secure and diverse electronic and business environment between the two countries. This is in addition to raising awareness of the benefits of digital technologies for organizations in both the for-profit and non-profit sectors, and raising digital awareness.

Furthermore, the features and main applications of the Egyptian strategy for Artificial Intelligence (AI) during the coming period were presented.

From the Egyptian side, the meeting was attended by Vice Minister for Digital Transformation, Automation and Administrative Development Khaled El Attar, Chairman of the Egyptian National Post Organization (ENPO) Essam Al-Saghir, Director of Telecommunication and Infrastructure Sector and Head of General Secretariat Sector at MCIT Raafat Hindy, Deputy Minister for Human and Institutional Capacity Development and Acting CEO of the Information Technology Industry Development Agency (ITIDA) Hala El Gohary, ICT Minister’s Advisor for Technology Innovation, Electronics and Training Hossam Osman, ICT Minister’s Advisor for Artificial Intelligence Golestan Radwan, Chairwoman of the Information Technology Institute (ITI) Heba Saleh, Acting Director of the National Telecommunication Institute (NTI) Iman Ashour, Director of International Relations Division at MCIT Mohamed El Gawsaky, and a number of MCIT officials.

From the Saudi side, the meeting was attended by President of Saudi Post Corporation Anif Abanmi, Deputy Minister for the Technology Industry and Digital Capacities Ahmed Al-Thunayan, Deputy Minister for Planning and Development Munir Eldesouki, Vice President of Transformation Khalid Zain Al-Abdeen, Director General of National Center for Digital Certification Naif Alotaibi, Advisor of the Technology Industry and Digital Capacities Agency Hisham Alsaghier, Director General of Partnerships and International Cooperation Meshal Al-Issa, General Manager of Entrepreneurship and Innovation Ibrahim Al-Nasser, Women Empowerment Director Wadha Bin Zarah, General Manager of International Affairs at the Communications and Information Technology Commission (CITC) Abdulrahman Al Hassan, Senior Analyst of International Partnerships Tariq Al Shagroud, and Vice President for Government e-transformation at Saudi eGovernment Program Adel Asiri.

The two ministers conducted an inspection tour at Smart Village (SV) starting with the Information Technology Institute (ITI), where Acting Director Heba Saleh made a detailed presentation on the major activities and specialized training courses that ITI offers to students and university graduates, in addition to a complete executive program for cooperation between the two sides in relevant fields.

Moreover, the Saudi delegation visited the Technology Innovation and Entrepreneurship Center (TIEC) headquarters in SV, and explored its programs, from the efforts in building capacities of entrepreneurs, disseminating entrepreneurship culture, and fostering creativity among university students, to its accelerators and incubators programs to transform ideas and work plans into startups capable of competing in different markets.

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