Ministry of Communications and Information Technology
17 May 2020
ICT Minister Witnesses Launching 'Our Digital Opportunity' Initiative for Enhancing SMEs Contribution to Digital Transformation Projects

The Minister of Communications and Information Technology Amr Talaat has witnessed the launching of "Our Digital Opportunity" initiative, created by the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT) under the umbrella of the digital Egypt strategy.

The aim is to establish partnership between the government and the private sectors and develop small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to contribute to carrying out major national digital transformation projects.

The initiative involves a digital platform that provides information on such projects to SMEs to implement or contribute to implementing, in a way that ensures transparency and equal opportunities and contributes to raising the operational efficiency and enhancing the sustainability of SMEs.

The initiative was launched during an e-session, held in the presence of the Deputy Minister for Administrative Development, Digital Transformation and Automation Khaled El Attar, the Deputy Minister for Infrastructure and the Director of Telecommunication and Infrastructure Sector at the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT) Raafat Hindy, the CEO of the Information Technology Industry Development Agency (ITIDA) Hala El Gohary, a number of MCIT officials, CEOs of international technology companies specializing in system integration, and CEOs and representatives of ICT SMEs and civil society organizations.

Talaat stated that the initiative targets ensuring that SMEs and startups have an equal and determined share in implementing the digital Egypt projects that MCIT is part of, adding that the government focuses on accelerating the digital transformation and rendering digital government services to citizens. He also said that a strategic vision for building the digital Egypt is currently into effect, in which the efforts of the different State sectors, international and local companies, civil society organizations, SMEs, startups and freelancers shall synergize.

In addition, the ICT Minister said that SMEs can contribute to the implementation of the digital transformation projects in a way that ensures governance and transparency. This can be achieved through three different ways: participating in implementing not less than 10% of the projects assigned to the main operating companies, participating in implementing a number of projects through contracting directly with MCIT or participating in contests for employees at SMEs to receive training and have their skills in data science ad Artificial Intelligence (AI) honed, funded by MCIT and ending with contracting with the winning companies.

Talaat said that the implementation mechanism will be provided through the initiative platform that allows with its launching 33 opportunities in the digital transformation projects, with the volume of business offered to SMEs estimated with EGP 90 million.

Furthermore, the ICT Minister issued, today, a decree compelling those responsible for the ICT infrastructure sectors and the digital transformation units at MCIT to allow micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) and independent management companies to implement 10% of the work in a number of projects carried out by those sectors.

These sectors, when offering work directly or represented by a legally authorized body, should make sure that the statement of work, specifications and contracts of the operations agreed on, include the involvement of the aforementioned enterprises in such operations, with announcing the selected business.

In addition, ITIDA shall be responsible for making an approved list for those enterprises according to their category and different specializations, through an e-portal or other mechanisms. The list will include the work and projects enabled, what these enterprises can work on and the assigned work, with developing a system for those enterprises.

The initiative implemented by ITIDA targets supporting IT SMEs in Egypt, registered in ITIDA database, through contributing to implementing national digital transformation projects that aim to enhance performance at ministries and other government bodies, as well as improving the quality and raising the efficiency of the services rendered to citizens, through improving the work environment. This is in addition to encouraging local companies to participate in creating more job opportunities for young Egyptians, thus promoting their competitiveness in local and global markets.

El Gohary highlighted that the initiative comes within the framework of ITIDA role in increasing the competitiveness of the local IT industry, and out of its trust in the potentials of Egyptian IT companies and their ability to develop innovative technological solutions that can help accelerate the digital transformation. She added that the Egyptian companies have highly trained skilled calibers, and that they excel and export their services to different global markets.

The digital platform includes the details of the digital transformation projects implemented for different government bodies. Each project provides a number of opportunities that can be assigned to SMEs to handle. The platform also includes the statement of work and technical specifications of each opportunity, the implementing body and the main performance statistics and indicators. This is for following up on the project phases and the announced opportunities, transparently. Information on the enterprises selected to handle such work will also be announced on the platform.

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