1 June 2021
ICT Minister, Sudanese Counterpart Discuss Cooperation in ICT

The Minister of Communications and Information Technology Amr Talaat has received the Sudanese Minister of Telecommunications and Digital Transformation Hashim Hasabelrasoul heading a high-level delegation. They discussed enhancing joint cooperation in ICT areas, most notably digital transformation.

The two ministers chaired an expanded meeting that was joined by a number of officials from both Ministries. They reviewed the two countries’ visions on the development of the ICT sector, and discussed aspects of joint cooperation in relevant fields.

Talaat underlined that Egypt and Sudan have historical well-established relations that represent a model of Arab relations at different political and economic levels. He added that he looks forward to strengthening ties between the two countries in ICT and in implementing joint projects in light of the two countries' keenness to achieve the transition to a digital society given the growing importance of ICT as a key to development. He pointed out the progress achieved at the Egyptian ICT sector and its vital role in driving economic growth.

Talaat presented Digital Egypt strategy pillars, the first of which is achieving digital transformation through rolling out digital governmental services and improving the government performance. The second is creating digital competencies through a comprehensive strategy for training young people in IT at different levels, raising their efficiency, qualifying them for the labor market, and equipping them with the necessary digital skills for building Digital Egypt.

The third pillar is fostering innovation and promoting creative thinking among youth through a plan for establishing 15 digital innovation hubs nationwide. in this regard, Talaat said that he looks forward to the establishment of a digital innovation hub in Sudan to carry out joint projects in training and promoting innovation and entrepreneurship among youth in both countries.

The planks of the strategy include providing the necessary legislative and regulatory framework, and developing the digital infrastructure through carrying out projects to leverage the international cable network carrying data between Asia, Africa and Europe to improve the quality of telecommunication and Internet services in Sudan.

Hasabelrasoul expressed his gratitude for the invitation he received from the Egyptian ICT Minister to visit Egypt, which comes within the framework of strengthening the long-established relations between the two sister countries and in light of the strong ties between the two peoples of the Nile Valley. He added that his country looks forward to a new investment and development era, as Sudan is witnessing a radical transformation at different levels, an openness towards the world and a return to the international community. He commended Egypt's supportive role for Sudan in achieving that.

The Sudanese ICT sector is one of the promising sectors for attracting investments, the Sudanese Minister said, adding that the visit comes to create opportunities for cooperation between the two countries in ICT. The Ministry of Telecommunications and Digital Transformation was established in Sudan last February, reflecting Sudan’s awareness of the importance of this field. Hasabelrasoul praised the leading Egyptian experience in digital transformation, which Sudan could benefit from.

The Assistant Foreign Minister Osama Shaltout stressed the distinguished relations between the peoples of the Nile Valley, highlighting the political desire to strengthening the deep-rooted ties between the two countries, as the two countries’ leaders agreed on joining forces. Shaltout underlined that Egypt supports the Sudanese government in light of the historical turning point it is going through, following a directive to put Egypt's capabilities to support Sudan. He added that IT is the main driver of development.

The Sudanese Ambassador to Egypt Mohamed Elias stated that there is a mutual strategic goal between the two countries’ leaders, which is to build exemplary strategic cooperation relations to achieve integration between the two countries. He added that strategic projects are being carried out to establish that partnership that will represent a unique model.

For his part, the Deputy ICT Minister for Administrative Development, Digital Transformation and Automation Khaled El Attar pointed out the national efforts for achieving digital transformation to improve the quality of life, increase the country’s competitiveness, and support decision makers. He shed light on the major digital transformation projects that are implemented in cooperation between the different State sectors.

The Chairman of the Egyptian National Post Organization (ENPO) Sherif Farouk highlighted the development carried out in Egypt Post and its role in the digital transformation as a channel for delivering Digital Egypt services. He added that one million transactions are conducted daily through Egypt Post.

The Executive President of the National Telecom Regulatory Authority (NTRA) Hossam El-Gamal praised the cooperation between the two countries in the field of telecommunication regulatory authorities, which is reflected at the international level through the two sides’ close views in international forums. He announced that NTRA is about to launch an African academy to create specialists in cybersecurity, infrastructure and smart cities.

Furthermore, the Assistant ICT Minister for Global Information Infrastructure (GII) Mohamed Nasr Eldin stated that the Egyptian telecommunication sector has grown in terms of expanding, improving the quality of mobile services and boosting the Internet. He underlined Egypt's keenness to invest in the international data cable network.

The CEO of the Information Technology Industry Development Agency (ITIDA) Amr Mahfouz presented ITIDA efforts in building capacity and supporting the IT industry through providing incentives to international companies to invest in Egypt. He highlighted the rise of investments in IT in Egypt, adding that ITIDA is responsible for governing the electronic signature, which is a key pillar of digital transformation.

Telecom Egypt CEO Adel Hamed referred to the cooperation with Sudan in the field of interconnection. He presented Telecom Egypt's plans to develop the telecommunication infrastructure and install fiber optic cables on a wide scale, which helped increase the average internet speed and accommodate the heightened demand for Internet use amid the pandemic.

From Sudan, the meeting was attended by the Director-General of the Telecommunications and Postal Regulatory Authority Al-Sadiq Jamal Al-Deen, the Undersecretary at the Ministry of Telecommunications and Digital Transformation Jamal Amin Al-Sayed, and the General Manager of the National Information Center (NIC) Ammar Mohamed Al Fateh Abdallah. They presented the features of the Sudanese national plan in communications, post and IT.

At the end of the meeting, the two sides agreed to cooperate in achieving digital transformation, providing electronic governmental services, strengthening the digital infrastructure in Sudan, and encouraging Egyptian companies specializing in ICT to invest in Sudan. They also agreed on collaborating in post, digital inclusion, and building the digital capacity of Sudan’s youth.

Following the meeting, the Sudanese Minister and his delegation visited the National Telecommunication Institute (NTI); they were received by NTI Director Iman Ashour. They also visited the Information Technology Institute (ITI); they were received by ITI Chairwoman Heba Saleh. The delegation explored the training programs implemented by the two institutes to upskill young people in ICT.

It is noteworthy that the Sudanese Minister is visiting Egypt from May 30 to June 4, in response to the invitation he received from the Egyptian ICT Minister to visit Egypt to explore the Egyptian ICT sector, discuss ways to enhance cooperation between the two countries, and participate as a guest of honor in the opening of the Arab Permanent Postal Commission session in Sharm El Sheikh.

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