23 June 2021
Egypt, Libya Conclude Talks on Cooperation in ICT, Sign Four Agreements

The Egyptian-Libyan discussions, which were held in Cairo for three days, were concluded yesterday. The discussions were chaired by the Minister of Communications and Information Technology Amr Talaat and the Chairman of the Libya Post, Telecommunication and Information Technology Holding Company (LPTIC) Faisel Gergab. LPTIC is responsible for supervising the Libyan ICT sector.

The discussions addressed enhancing cooperation in ICT areas, most notably digital transformation, postal services, capacity building, entrepreneurship, and technology indigenization. They also resulted in the signing of a number of joint agreements between Telecom Egypt, Hatif Libya, and the Libyan International Telecommunication Company (LITC), in areas including training, providing technical consultation and administrative support, and supporting the provision of international services.

Talaat underlined that there has been an intensive series of meetings with the Libyan side over the past few days to enhance the close cooperation between the two countries in ICT and to carry out projects on scientific and economic bases to benefit the Egyptian and Libyan people.

The pillars of such cooperation were conceptualized and will be crystalized in an agreement for cooperation between the two countries in a number of fields, most notably data centers and interconnection between the Egyptian international cable network and the Libyan network. This is in addition to carrying out joint projects in fiber-optic cable manufacturing, cooperating in training to build Libyan youth’s capacity in ICT, exchanging visions and experiences in establishing technology parks, technical programs, digital transformation, and strengthening cooperation between Egypt Post and Libya Post.

Telecom Egypt, Hatif Libya and LITC signed four agreements in training and leveraging technical and administrative expertise in various fields. This is in addition to a framework agreement for interconnection and for making the Egyptian international cable network available to Libya.

Talaat highlighted that the agreements mark the beginning of a serious, in-depth and multi-pillar phase of cooperation between Egypt and Libya in ICT, and represent a final agreement on the issues raised during his visit to Libya, last April.

For his part Gergab commended what he witnessed from openness during the meetings, and the Egyptian side’s eagerness for joint cooperation. The two sides agreed on implementing projects to act as a building block for business, investment and joint work between the two brotherly countries. The projects include one to transfer the leading Egyptian experience in digital transformation through establishing a Libyan-Egyptian company concerned with developing digital transformation initiatives in the two countries, carrying out a range of major infrastructure projects, putting into effect the digital transformation and government service automation projects in Libya, and establishing smart cities in Tripoli and Benghazi, and a national data center in Libya with the support of Egypt.

Gergab stated that the two sides also agreed to expedite the establishment of the ICT Academy premises in Libya through an Egyptian-Libyan partnership, and to start organizing training, qualification and capacity-building programs. He stressed that there is an Egyptian-Libyan strategic orientation to take advantage of natural resources and competencies to indigenize, reduce importing and start exporting technology. It was agreed on making a joint Egyptian-Libyan investment to indigenize the latest technologies in Egypt and Libya, including the establishment of a fiber-optic cable factory.

Pursuant to the agreements signed by Telecom Egypt, Hatif Libya and LITC, the former will provide all kinds of technical and advisory support to Hatif Libya through providing consultancy services for planning, designing, creating, operating and maintaining infrastructure to ensure the achievement of digital transformation in the shortest period of time, through more than one model that includes technical consultation, shadow management and project management at different stages, as well as providing legal, regulatory, commercial, advertising, financial, accounting and other consultation.

In terms of the cooperation in Human Resources (HR) and training, Telecom Egypt will train the technical and administrative staff at Hatif Libya on establishing, operating and managing ICT networks, achieving digital transformation and developing personal skills. The training also includes how to establish, manage and operate fixed-line networks in line with Telecom Egypt’s latest global technologies and training methodologies.

In addition, the cooperation involves providing technical and professional consultation and directing and supporting Hatif Libya to establish a training center for its technical and administrative staff, to carry out the company’s training programs dealing with digital services, such as cloud computing, Internet of Things (IoT) and others.

With regard to cooperation in international services, a framework agreement was signed with LITC to support the provision of international services represented in international interconnection and integrated solutions to deliver various content services and exchange Internet traffic through Telecom Egypt’s infrastructure, including the Internet exchange point, data centers and the submarine cable network stretching around the world.

The agreements were signed by Telecom Egypt CEO and Managing Director Adel Hamed, Hatif Libya Chairman Muhammad Balras Ali, and LITC Executive Chairman Adel Fares.

Following the signing, Hamed stated that his company was pleased to cooperate with Libya and seeks to provide technical and advisory support to contribute to accelerating the development of the telecommunication infrastructure in Libya. Telecom Egypt has extensive experience spanning more than 160 years in ICT, and over the past years, the company made great strides in infrastructure development, Hamed said, adding that his company seeks to transfer its expertise to Hatif Libya.

Balras expressed his deep happiness with the cooperation with Telecom Egypt, which include a mutual exchange of experiences, training, development and capacity building. He said that his company looks forward to greater and broader cooperation in various fields of communications technology, and to achieving a twinning with Telecom Egypt, given the similarity of most services and works between the two companies.

For his part, Fares said that his company was pleased to sign the agreement with Telecom Egypt in global telecommunications, and looks forward to deepening cooperation in the future and benefiting from the great experience that Telecom Egypt possesses in global telecommunication services, and its submarine cable network extending around the world.

The signing ceremony was attended by a number of officials from the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT) and Telecom Egypt.

From the Libyan side, the ceremony was attended by the Political Advisor at the Libyan Ministry of Foreign Affairs Al Sharef Amohamed Hebli, the First Secretary at the Libyan Ministry of Foreign Affairs Walid Amohamed El Ghaly, the Chairman of the ICT Academy Magdy Ali Al-Shaibani, Al Bonya Co. for Investment and Services Chairman Atif Salem Al-Ahrash, Al Bonya Co. Director General Mohamed Al-Mahdi Abu Habesha, Libyana Mobile Phone Chairman Abdulmonem Hejjaji, Libya Post Chairman Tariq Shatshat, Libya Telecom and Technology Chairman Abdul Baset Al-Senussi, Aljeel Aljadeed for Technology Chairman Emaar Mohammed Al-Bouzidi, and Almadar Aljadid Chairman Abdul Khaleq Ashour.

From LPTIC, the Director of the Investment and Contributions Department Mohamed Al-Sadeq Abu Samaha, the Director of the Legal Office Khaled Moftah Zaghenin, the Advisor to the Chairman Nidal Salem Armida, the Director of Media and Communications Office Mohamed Abdel Rahman Belhaj, External Relations Officer Nour Eldin Mohamed Elwefaty, and a number of officials from LPTIC and its affiliates attended the signing ceremony.

It is worth noting that a high-level delegation comprising leaders and experts from the Libyan ICT and post sector, headed by Gergab, visited Egypt on June 19-22 June. The visit included a number of meetings and extensive discussions for the Libyan delegation to explore the Egyptian experience and enhance cooperation with Egypt in ICT and post.

During the visit, the two sides agreed to carry out projects of high priority to Libya, in areas including digital transformation, digital infrastructure, interconnection, and capacity building. They also agreed on cooperating in postal services through linking the two countries with regard to express mail, setting up the local postal tracking system ecosystem in Libya, and on creating the necessary legislative and regulatory environment to help Libya Post play its role in Libya’s digital transformation process.

Furthermore, the two sides agreed to collaborate in the IT industry development through leveraging the Egyptian expertise in developing an organizational structure to build the capacities of people and companies working in the ICT sector in Libya, and to start modeling the Information Technology Industry Development Agency (ITIDA) in Libya. This is in addition to transferring the Egyptian expertise in the legislative and regulatory framework to the telecommunications, post and IT sectors in Libya, as well as utilizing the accumulated Egyptian experiences in promoting innovation, entrepreneurship and freelancing among the Libyan youth.

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