7 March 2016
During ICANN 55, ICT Minister Highlights PPP for Building Digital Economy

The Egyptian delegation, headed by the ICT Minister Yasser ElKady, has actively engaged in the first day of ICANN 55, hosted by Morocco on March 6-7, where ElKady took part in the meeting of the "Future of the Internet Initiative”, held on ICANN 55 sidelines and organized by the World Economic Forum (WEF), in cooperation with the Ministry of Industry, Trade, Investment and Digital Economy of Morocco.

The meeting tackled the discussion of the Forum's initiative concerned with the future of the Internet and how to transform the African continent to the digital economy. The meeting comprised two basic sessions, the first of which discussed challenges faced by Africa to achieve digital growth. During the second session, senior officials reviewed opinions and recommendations on how to shift to a growing digital economy.

In this context, ElKady presented Egypt’s vision towards challenges facing the African continent for the transition to the digital economy and how to use IT tools to realize the benefits of the growing digital economy community, through the optimum utilization of available human resources. He stated that key challenge that confronts Africa is the limited access to Internet connection where the growth rate, in the continent, is the lowest reaching about 20.7% in 2015.

The minister has also pointed out to another challenge; namely, the need for the availability of a legal framework and appropriate regulation to realize the desired growth of Internet services which lies mainly in the issue of privacy and maintenance of data. This is in addition to the issue of broadband Internet that grows less than planned and expected globally.

Moreover, ElKady said that challenges can be overcome in the future, provided that African countries consolidate their efforts and resources and be inter-dependent through the exchange of knowledge and experiences to build a strong African digital economy.

The ICT Minister called on all African countries to focus on the principle of public-private partnership (PPP), and the adoption of multi-national stakeholder’s principle to build the digital economy.

ElKday also talked about Africa's 2063 agenda, adopted by African Heads of States, which stipulates seven objectives that the continent aspires to implement, on top of which are the progress and prosperity of the continent on the basis of inclusive growth and sustainable development, an integrated and politically unified continent, a democratic continent that respects human rights, justice and the rule of law and a safe continent with a strong cultural identity based on principles and ethics.

ElKady ascertained that the ICT industry has the ability to achieve these seven aspirations to build a digital economy for the continent, and maintain evolution to be able to compete globally in the future.

In a related context, the ICT Minister has met with a number of dignitaries and senior officials concerned with the Internet, and other organization representatives on the sidelines of the meeting.

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