8 June 2021
ICT Minister Delivers Talk at CEBC Event

The Minister of Communications and Information Technology Amr Talaat has delivered a talk at “Egypt's Digital Strategy-Opportunities and Challenges” event, organized by Canada Egypt Business Council (CEBC).

The event was attended by Former Minister of Transportation Alaa Fahmy, Former ICT Minister Khaled Negm, the Deputy ICT Minister for Institutional Development Ghada Labib, the Chairman of the Egyptian National Post Organization (ENPO) Sherif Farouk, the CEO of the Information Technology Industry Development Agency (ITIDA) Amr Mahfouz, Telecom Egypt CEO and Managing Director Adel Hamed, the Chairwoman of the Information Technology Institute (ITI) Heba Saleh, the Director of the National Telecommunication Institute (NTI) Iman Ashour, the Advisor to the Minister for Artificial Intelligence (AI) Golestan Radwan, and CEBC Chairman Motaz Raslan.

In his talk, Talaat highlighted that the State institutions join forces to build Digital Egypt, where digital technologies are adopted to develop and grow all sectors. He explained the development achieved at the ICT sector over the past three years, which was reflected in the rise in the economic performance indicators, with the sector staying the highest growing State sector for two consecutive years.

Egypt’s ranking improved in many international ICT-related reports, the most prominent of which was moving up 55 spots on the Government AI Readiness Index. Egypt has also ranked first in the Middle East and Africa (MEA) region, and 15th out of 60 countries around the world in outsourcing. The country, in addition, came among the top 10 improvers in digital inclusion, in 2020.

The ICT Minister stated that 60 digital government services have been made available on Digital Egypt platform, and can also be accessed through different channels, including post offices, government service centers and the call center 15999. He added that the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT) is cooperating with different State agencies and institutions in relocating the government to the New Administrative Capital to achieve the transition to a participatory, smart and paperless government.

There is an ongoing plan for developing and increasing the number of post offices to serve as outlets for delivering Digital Egypt and financial inclusion services, along with postal services. 1,600 offices were developed, with work under way to develop 1,500 others this year, bringing the total number of developed offices to 3,100 out of 4,000 total offices nationwide.

Talaat said that a capacity-building strategy is being implemented through partnerships with international companies and universities to provide training opportunities for employment, with the aim of training 115,000 people at a cost of EGP 400 million in the current fiscal year. The strategy is implemented according to a pyramid approach that goes up the levels, starting with providing beginner-level programs, then specialized and in-depth programs to build people’s capacity in different technological specialization.

Egypt University of Informatics (EUI), the first specialized informatics university in Africa and the Middle East, is being established at the Knowledge City in the New Administrative Capital. In addition, a professional master's program in technology disciplines is to be granted to young people, in cooperation with top-notch international universities, within Digital Egypt Builders Initiative (DEBI).

The ICT Minister highlight that in light of the National AI Strategy, the Applied Innovation Center (AIC) was established to develop solutions to the challenges facing the society using modern ICT applications. He presented the major projects and initiatives carried out by MCIT to foster technological innovation, the most prominent of which is establishing Creativa Innovation Hubs in regional universities. This is in addition to building the Knowledge City in the New Administrative Capital according to the latest global technologies to create an environment conducive to investment, digital innovation and creative thinking.

Egypt is witnessing great development and enjoying regional leadership in the field of technological innovation and entrepreneurship, said Talaat, highlighting that Digital Egypt projects are implemented capitalizing on software and systems developed and produced by the private sector. He underlined MCIT keenness to launch programs and initiatives to develop small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and freelancers. One the most prominent initiatives is Our Digital Opportunity, through which 10% of Digital Egypt projects are assigned to SMEs to implement.

Moreover, investments of about EGP 30 billion were made over the past two years to boos the internet connection, which helped increase the average internet speed in Egypt from 6.5 Mbps in January 2019 to 39.6 Mbps in April 2021. The plan proceeds with investments of EGP 5.5 billion, this year. Talaat added that MCIT will carry out a project to raise the efficiency of the information infrastructure at the villages of the first phase of Haya Karima (Decent Life) presidential initiative.

The ICT Minister also referred to MCIT efforts to augment Egypt's international leadership in ICT, which culminated in selecting the New Administrative Capital as 2021 Arab Digital Capital. He said that work is under way to create the ICT sector’s legislative system to govern the digital environment. This included passing the Anti-Cybercrime Law and its executive regulations, as well as the Personal Data Protection Law. In addition, a law on electronic transactions, and the executive regulations implementing the Personal Data Protection Law are to be issued soon.

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