Ministry of Communications and Information Technology
15 January 2021
ICT Minister, Nigerian Counterpart Discuss Enhancing Cooperation in Tech App Development, Capacity Building, AI

The Minister of Communications and Information Technology Amr Talaat has received the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy in Nigeria Isa Ali Pantami, heading a high-level delegation. They discussed enhancing cooperation in ICT areas, particularly technology application development, capacity building, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and ICT infrastructure development.

During the meeting, Talaat highlighted the special ties between Egypt and Nigeria, stating that he looks forward for more cooperation between the two countries in ICT. He presented the efforts made by the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT) to implement Digital Egypt vision and digital transformation projects to render digital services to citizens. This is in addition to developing the ICT infrastructure and improving the quality of telecommunication services.

Talaat said that MCIT attaches high importance to the data center industry, in light of the competitive advantages that Egypt enjoys in this field, especially its unique location on the world submarine cable map, as well as its enabling legislative framework, represented in issuing the Personal Data Protection Law.

The meeting delved into cooperation in building capacities in specialized technological fields, where MCIT strategy for developing digital skills was presented, including carrying out a big range of training initiatives and programs. This is in addition to providing specialized education through Egypt University of Informatics (EUI) that MCIT is establishing, in collaboration with the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research, at the Knowledge City in the New Administrative Capital, with the aim to have skilled graduates in advanced technologies through partnering with the world’s top universities.

Moreover, the two sides discussed enhancing cooperation in developing ICTs, supporting entrepreneurship, encouraging investment in startups, attracting Nigerian venture capital to support Egyptian startups, and developing technological solutions to meet the needs of the Nigerian market. This is in addition to organizing joint events to provide opportunities of partnership between Egyptian and Nigerian companies.

The two sides also discussed cooperation in AI, in light of Egypt’s keenness to adopt AI technologies, in line with its National AI Strategy.

Pantami praised the progress achieved in the Egyptian ICT sector and the current efforts of digital transformation and capacity building. He said that he is eager to cooperate in carrying out specialized training and relevant academic education, and to explore the Egyptian experience in developing the ICT infrastructure.

The Nigerian Minister stated that in light of his country’s National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy, announced in 2019, he has been focusing on establishing an AI center in Nigeria, given the high importance of modern technology in providing more efficient digital solutions. Talaat welcomed the cooperation between the Nigerian center and the Applied Innovation Center (AIC) through joint research teams, in topics of common interest.

The Nigerian Minister said that the meeting is the starting point of a long-term cooperation in ICT areas, and a perfect model of enhancing cooperation between the two countries. He expressed his country’s strong desire to join the African Union’s Working Group on AI. MCIT called for forming the Group to raise African awareness and create a unified stance on relevant topics.

The meeting was attended by the CEO of the Information Technology Industry Development Agency (ITIDA) Amr Mahfouz, the Assistant ICT Minister for Global Information Infrastructure (GII) Mohamed Nasr Eldin, the Advisor to the ICT Minister for AI Golestan Radwan, and AIC Head Ahmed Tantawy.

The Nigerian Minister and the accompanying delegation took a tour in Smart Village to explore the Egyptian ICT sector closely. They visited the Technology Innovation and Entrepreneurship Center (TIEC), the United Nations Technology Innovation Lab (UNTIL), and the Center for Documentation of Cultural and Natural Heritage (CULTNAT).

The Nigerian Minister’s tour is part of his visit to Egypt, in light of the presidential discussions for strengthening the bilateral ties between the two countries.

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