31 May 2021
ICT Minister Delivers Inaugural Speech at World AI Show


The Minister of Communications and Information Technology Amr Talaat has stated that Egypt has prepared its national strategy for Artificial Intelligence under the theme "Artificial Intelligence for Development and Prosperity". The strategy aims to benefit from this technology in achieving Egypt's development goals and advancing economic growth, in light of seeking to build a strong and sustainable industry in the AI field, including skills, technology, business climate, infrastructure, and legal and regulatory frameworks.

Thanks to these efforts,  Egypt has advanced 55 places on the Government Artificial Intelligence (AI) Readiness Index 2020. He stated that the next three years are expected to witness an increasing reliance on AI applications and solutions in government sectors in light of the projects being implemented to achieve digital transformation and to implement the government’s relocation plan to the New Administrative Capital as a paperless, participatory, and digital government.

The ICT Minister delivered this speech during the opening of the twenty-fifth session of the World AI Show, which Egypt is hosting for the first time under the auspices of the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT) and organized by "Trescon Global", online, in cooperation with the Information Technology Industry Development Agency (ITIDA). Under the theme “Nurturing the AI ecosystem in Egypt”, a group of the most prominent IT experts in the fields of AI and machine learning, senior executives and consultants, participated in the conference, aiming to explore the AI market in Egypt, and adapt its applications to meet the challenges resulting from the Corona pandemic.

Talaat also added that Egypt's hosting of this conference comes in conjunction with the serious steps taken by Egypt to implement the National Strategy for Artificial Intelligence, which is an important component in building “Digital Egypt”, through which the Egyptian society will be transformed into a digital one by digitizing institutions’ work systems. This contributes to improving the efficiency of services and providing them in a more transparent manner, while enabling community members to deal efficiently with technology. This is in addition to seeking to make Egypt a producer and exporter of technology, a matter which will contribute to achieving economic growth through innovation and technological progress.

The ICT Minister indicated that the ICT sector is the highest growing sector among the country's sectors for the second year in a row. The growth rate is expected to reach 16% during the current fiscal year. Employment rates in the sector have grown by 20% over the past three years, and the sector’s contribution to Egypt's GDP has jumped by about 40% since 2018. He pointed out that investment in capacity building programs has doubled eight times over the past three years, as a plan is being implemented to train more than 115,000 trainees during this year at various levels of technological programs at a cost of EGP 400 million.
 
Talaat ascertained that the Egyptian government is keen to establish partnerships between the public and private sectors to disseminate emerging technologies and benefit from the AI technology in the development sectors. He referred to the success of this model in implementing projects in the fields of agriculture, health care, economic planning and smart infrastructure. He pointed out that Egypt is currently building 15 smart cities within an ambitious plan to build 30 new cities, which are expected to accommodate more than 14 million people and will provide more than six million new job opportunities. The private sector is a key partner in building and operating these smart cities based on modern technologies.

In conclusion, the ICT Minister expressed his happiness that an elite of distinguished speakers and attendees from representatives of governments, technology leaders, emerging companies, the academic community, AI experts and investors participated in the conference to share and exchange experiences and ideas on ways to benefit from AI in addressing common challenges.

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