Ministry of Communications and Information Technology
19 July 2019
ICT Minister, French Ambassador Discuss Cooperation in AI, Entrepreneurship

The Minister of Communications and Information Technology Amr Talaat has received the French Ambassador to Egypt Stéphane Romatet, where they discussed enhancing cooperation between Egypt and France in Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Entrepreneurship in IT.

At the beginning of the meeting, Talaat underlined the distinctive ties between the two countries at all levels, particularly in ICT. He presented the strategy of the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT) that includes vast opportunities of investment and cooperation, in pursuit of building digital capacities and achieving digital transformation.

Moreover, the ICT Minister highlighted Egypt’s interest in AI, and said that it is a top priority in MCIT business agenda, especially with its uses in applied research in agriculture, health, transportation, industry, and Natural Language Processing (NLP) (Arabic language), as the focus on Arabic language comes in light of Egypt’s distinctive regional position in the Arab region.

Talaat referred to the focus on qualifying specialized calibers in AI, and data science as one of the important courses added to university curriculum and training courses at the Information Technology Institute (ITI).

For his part, the French Ambassador praised Egypt’s efforts in AI, its eagerness to craft the National Strategy for AI, and its intriguing effort to hold a significant position in the global map in this field.

The two sides discussed cooperation in AI through establishing partnerships with French institutions and companies specializing in this filed, in addition to joint cooperation between training institutions in the two countries for building specialized capacities in AI.

Furthermore, they discussed cooperation in the framework of implementing the French-Egyptian competition initiative for Egyptian startups, initiated by the French embassy in Cairo and a number of French companies, in cooperation with MCIT and the Technology Innovation and Entrepreneurship Center (TIEC).

The competition features three pillars, namely health, financial transactions and smart cities, and what technology can offer to serve these pillars.

The initiative comes in the framework of implementing the four agreements, signed between the two countries last January, during the French President’s visit to Egypt, pertaining to the cooperation in ICTs, including promoting entrepreneurship and IT startups growth.
The competition is to include cash prizes for winners, in addition to providing an opportunity for winning startups to travel to France for incubation. The competition will be officially announced in October, and the awards will be delivered in February.

Respectively, Romatet invited the ICT Minister to officially open the competition, and to visit France to meet with French government officials and representatives of major French companies specializing in ICTs, in particular those seeking to invest in Egypt. Talaat welcomed the invitation as an opportunity to enhance cooperation between the two countries in this field.

The meeting was attended by Associate ICT Minister for Networks and ICT Infrastructure Hossam El-Gamal, ICT Minister's Advisor for Technology Innovation, Electronics and Training Hossam Osman, ICT Minister’s Advisor for AI Golestan Radwan, Director of the International Relations Division at MCIT Mohamed El Gawsaky, and Deputy Head of the Economic Department at the French Embassy in Cairo Isabelle Rose.
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