2 March 2021
ICT Minister Partakes in House ICT Committee Session

The Minister of Communications and Information Technology Amr Talaat has participated in the House of Representatives’ ICT Committee session. It was chaired by the Committee Head MP Ahmed Badawi, and attended by the Committee Undersecretaries MP Youssef El Sawy and MP Ahmed Zidan, the Committee Secretary MP Mohamed Abada, and the Committee members.

Talaat underlined that the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT) is keen to adopt the latest technology to create an integrated  digital  society.  This will help build the Egyptian citizen and develop the different state sectors in a way that helps improve the quality of life and bring about economic  growth.

Within the framework of Digital Egypt strategy, which MCIT is implementing, an EGP three billion project is carried out to digitize governmental services. Citizens now have access to 45 digital services through four channels: Digital Egypt platform, post offices, governmental service centers and the call center 15999, Talaat said. He added that Digital Egypt platform now has 1.3 million subscribers.

The session discussed a number of topics that were included in the statement presented before the House of Representatives, last February. In the statement, the ICT Minister reviewed the ICT sector’s strategy and services, and how to benefit from them. He also highlighted MCIT role in carrying out the national presidential initiatives aimed at advancing the Egyptian society in different areas through supporting digital transformation.

The Minister presented the steps that MCIT took as the government prepares to move to the New Administrative Capital. Those steps included developing the models of governmental work capitalizing on modern technologies to achieve the transition to a participatory, paperless digital government.

Moreover, the session delved into the most prominent service projects that MCIT is carrying out in collaboration with the different state sectors to attain digital  transformation. Projects include cooperating with the Ministry of Agriculture in developing the agricultural tenure system and rolling out the smart card; automating the universal health insurance system, in cooperation with the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Military Production; and collaborating with the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Higher Education to implement phase one of the automation of university hospitals project, with connecting the university hospitals system with the universal health insurance to render full-fledged services to citizens.

Projects also include cooperating with the Ministry of Higher Education to implement the first phase of the digital exams system for medical students at 75 faculties,  in  27 universities. MCIT is also collaborating with the Public Prosecution Office and the Ministries of Justice and Interior in implementing projects including the law enforcement system, Digital Egypt Justice and the digital transformation of  prisons. This is in addition to cooperating with all the state sectors to digitally transform the state property management system.

Talaat shed light on MCIT role in contributing to phase one of the national project for developing the countryside, within Haya Karima (Decent life) presidential initiative. The project involves raising the efficiency of the information infrastructure in 51 municipalities. The targeted villages will be connected to fiber optic cables to boost Internet speed, serving more than one million homes. In addition, post offices in 878 municipalities will be developed and equipped with ATMs to improve the quality of postal services. One thousand cell towers will be installed in villages, as well, to improve the quality of telecommunication services, said the ICT Minister.

The session discussed MCIT plan for improving the quality of telecommunication services and promoting transparency and governance through developing the ICT infrastructure and providing network coverage in main roads and some areas in governorates. In addition, MCIT will proceed with its plan for boosting Internet speed in 2021, with around EGP 5.5 billion, as well as issuing periodic Quality of Service (QoS) reports.

Talaat said that work is underway to expand the role of Egypt Post to serve as a channel for rendering Digital Egypt services and a pillar for supporting the implementation of the state's plans for promoting financial inclusion. In this regards, the development of 1,600 post offices will soon be completed, with 1,500 more currently being developed, with the total number of developed offices to reach 3,100 by the end of this year. This is in addition to creating more post outlets and equipping them with the latest technology, through deploying post kiosks and introducing mobile post units, stated the ICT Minister.

Furthermore, MCIT is implementing its capacity building and training plan to build digital capabilities in line with the requirements of the ICT industry and to qualify young people to find decent job opportunities from home, beyond the local market. This is achieved through providing training programs at different levels and reaching more trainees, Talaat said.

MCIT also aims to increase  the number of trainees, from 4,000 during the fiscal year 2018/2019, to over 115,000 during the current fiscal year, at a cost of up to EGP 400 million. The ICT Minister referred to MCIT efforts to foster entrepreneurship and innovation among young people  nationwide,  which  helped Egypt achieve the largest number of startup investment deals in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.

Talaat stressed MCIT keenness to enhance communication and cooperation with the House of Representatives’ ICT Committee, and thanked the House and the Committee for cooperating in passing ICT-related laws and legislations. He added that he looks forward to continuing discussions to pass  the e-commerce law and the executive regulations implementing the Personal Data Protection Law.

During the session, Badawi commended the productive cooperation with MCIT, and praised MCIT and its affiliates’ prompt response to briefing requests.

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