Ministry of Communications and Information Technology
28 September 2019
ICT Minister Delivers Speech in Techne Summit

The Minister of Communications and Information Technology Amr Talaat has delivered a speech during the opening ceremony of the fifth edition of Techne Summit, held on September 28-30 at Bibliotheca Alexandrina, under the auspices of the Information Technology Industry Development Agency (ITIDA), the Digital Economy and Technology General Division (DETGD) at the Federation of Egyptian Chambers of Commerce (FEDCOC), the Association of the Mediterranean Chambers of Commerce and Industry  (ASCAME), and the organizing company.

The opening ceremony was attended by Sweden’s Ambassador to Egypt Jan Thesleff, President of ASCAME and Alexandria Chamber of Commerce Ahmed el-Wakil, ITIDA CEO Hala El Gohary, DETGD Chairman Khalil Hassan Khalil, Founder and Chairman of Techne Summit Tarek El Kady, and a number of ICT experts.

During his speech, Talaat underlined the significance of concerted efforts between the government and private sectors, civil society and innovators to create an enabling environment for the growth of innovative work that represents the major prop of information technology.

This is addition to empowering young people to transform their creative ideas into business that contributes to the economic development, helps create more jobs, and bolsters Egypt's leadership in the region in entrepreneurship, especially as it is the second largest country in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) in terms of the size of ICT investments.

The ICT Minister stated that there is a considerable progress in this area; 1500 new ICT companies were established and nine Egyptian companies were acquired by international companies, last year. In addition, the size of investment in Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs) hit around $171 million, increasing nearly 23% compared to the year before.

SMEs contribute about one third of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and 38% of the total number of jobs in Egypt, said Talaat, adding that the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT) adopts a number of policies that aim to promote entrepreneurship, self-employment and technological innovation, nationwide.

He stated that MCIT and the French government have agreed on launching a competition for entrepreneurship in using ICT in fields including healthcare, smart cities and fintech, with registration opening in October. The competition will be sponsored by a number of major French companies, and the winners will be announced in February.

Moreover, a number of agreements on fostering innovation and entrepreneurship in using ICT in insurance and healthcare, were signed with French companies.

The ICT Minister also said that work on establishing entrepreneurship support centers in six governorates, is in progress, aiming to help innovators transform their ideas into products and services. This is in addition to establishing a new center in Cairo, similar to the one in France, allowing interaction and constructive work between all parties including international companies, government authorities, trained and small companies, and innovative thinkers.

He added that MCIT is collaborating with the Ministry of Investment and International Cooperation (MIIC) through adding a theme to Fekretak Sherketak initiative to support innovative youth in ICTs and boost investment in startups.

Furthermore, an agreement was signed with the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise Development Agency (MSMEDA) to provide its services through 4k postal services centers nationwide, where applications for soft loans for starting business can be submitted. This is in addition to establishing the Knowledge City in the New Administrative Capital, including a center for research, practical development and innovation leadership.

Talaat, in addition, stated that Egypt is undergoing unprecedented digital transformation, adding that a bundle of e-government services has been launched in Port Said city, as a pilot project, with the number of services to reach 174 digital services by the end of the year, provided through a digital platform and mobile applications.

He said that MCIT is seeking to establish the technical structure that will allow private companies create mobile applications connected to its digital system. This comes within the framework of encouraging the private sector and activating its role in digital transformation, representing the largest milestone in the history of mechanization and business automation in Egypt.

Moreover, the ICT Minister stated that 10k young people will be trained by the end of this year, and 15k next year, through MCIT affiliated training institutes and digital platform. Training includes 150 hours of specialized sessions in ICT areas, such as cybersecurity, data science, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Internet of things (IoT) and blockchain.

Talaat also inaugurated Techne Summit Exhibition comprising young innovators and startups’ projects. He commended the diversity of projects and innovative ideas, which reflects the outstanding level of innovative young people, and encouraged them to exert more efforts on developing their ideas. He referred to the programs that MCIT carries out for incubating innovative ideas and transforming them into value-added products.

Techne Summit is an international multi-industry focused investment and entrepreneurship event that aims to impact multiple sectors and stakeholders of the startup communities in the Mediterranean region through showcasing different technologies and their application in each industry.

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