17 October 2021
ICT Minister Delivers Talk at Vision Africa Conference during GITEX Global


The Minister of Communications and Information Technology Amr Talaat highlighted that Egypt shares similar challenges, opportunities and ambitions of African countries to fulfil the 2063 agenda of the African Union (AU), which aims to achieve a high standard of living, and improve quality of life and well-being for all.
 
He pointed out that there are several factors to enable the African continent to achieve its vision, including developing the communications infrastructure, providing the Internet at reasonable prices, and developing the legislative and regulatory framework. He highlighted Egypt's cooperation with the African countries in the development of communications infrastructure, including the implementation of the "HARP " project through Telecom Egypt, which allows the delivery of high-quality and high-speed Internet services to African countries. In addition, many Egyptian companies are implementing several projects in African countries to enable them to achieve connectivity, Internet access and digital inclusion.
 
This speech was delivered during the session, titled " Digital Egypt: Opening new horizons for development and investment" within the "Vision Africa" conference, held on the sidelines of "GITEX Global". The session was moderated by CNN Anchor and Correspondent Eleni Giokos.
 
During the speech, Talaat added that the ICT sector is the most growing sector in the country, with a growth rate of 16%. He pointed out that Egypt's efforts in developing the communications infrastructure contributed to facing the changes resulting from the pandemic. He referred to the project that is being implemented to establish an information infrastructure and provide high-speed Internet to one million homes within the first phase of the "Decent Life" initiative.
 
Talaat pointed out that Egypt hosts data centers to serve local, regional and global markets, and adopts a legislative framework that reflects Egypt's digital needs, including the e-Signature Law, Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) laws, Anti-Cyber and Information Technology Crimes Law and the Personal Data Protection Law. This is in addition to a law on e-commerce that is currently being issued. The National Telecom Regulatory Authority (NTRA) has also approved the regulatory framework for establishing data centers and providing cloud computing services.
 
In addition, the ICT Minister stated that young people are the real wealth that characterizes the African continent and a key driver for accelerating the pace of digital transformation within the continent. He emphasized the state’s keenness to empower youth and build digital capabilities by providing specialized training at multiple levels and with different models that include the digital learning model, while directing attention towards refining young people’s skills to be qualified for the free labor market.
 
He also highlighted that Egypt is keen to provide programs to sponsor technological innovation and develop startups, which resulted in the establishment of seven Innovation Creativa Hubs in the governorates. Another 10 hubs are being established to set a hub in each governorate through which entrepreneurs and Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) are supported and startups are incubated, to become effective actors in accelerating the pace of digital transformation. He pointed out that the Knowledge City is being established in the New Administrative Capital, which is an integrated information society that includes all elements of the ICT system. It will also include the Applied Innovation Center (AIC), through which emerging technologies are adopted to address societal challenges in several areas, including health care, agriculture, and natural language processing.
 
Talaat also showcased the efforts exerted in the framework of cooperation with the countries of the African continent, including the implementation of an initiative to develop the capabilities of 10,000 Egyptian and African young people to develop digital games and applications using the latest technologies. This is in addition to stimulating the establishment of 100 Egyptian and African startups in this field. So far, a number of 7000 young people and 78 startups have benefited from the initiative. The Egyptian African Telecom Regulatory Training Center (EG-ATRC) has been established, aiming at building African human competencies capable of dealing with the emerging challenges in the sector. EG-ATRC is the first of its kind in Africa to provide telecom regulatory training sessions. This is in addition to providing Specialized training in capacity building through the Regional Postal Training Center. The Center is accredited by the Universal Postal Union (UPU) as its regional postal training center in the Middle East and Africa.
 
He also highlighted Egypt's cooperation within the framework of the activities of the African Artificial Intelligence (AI) Working Group of the African Union to take advantage of this technology and meet the needs of the continent in several sectors, including health, education and agriculture.

This is in addition to Egypt University of Informatics (EUI) that has been established as the first specialized university in MENA, in communications and information technology and related fields. EUI aims to build human competencies in the field of information and communication technology through partnership with prestigious international universities.

Talaat also pointed out that the African continent has opportunities for joint cooperation in several areas, including digital inclusion, global communication, capacity building, and the use of Artificial Intelligence technology, in addition to enhancing trust and security in the digital environment in a way that is in line with the continent’s goals for the year 2063.

He also underscored benefiting from the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) in deepening the integration of African countries into regional and global value chains; stressing the need to prioritize work according to the needs of the African continent, while relying on the people of the continent to implement projects in cooperation with partners from inside and outside the continent. He referred to the increase in the proportion of the population with access to Internet, growing from 21.8% in 2013 to 41.9% in 2019 respectively.

In the conclusion of his speech, Talaat called on investors to invest in Egypt. He highlighted the competitive advantages of the Egyptian ICT sector, which has a broad base of creative youth who are able to develop innovative technological solutions and who possess the skills required for future jobs.

It is noteworthy that the ICT Minister Amr Talaat is visiting Dubai, heading a high-level delegation to participate in the events of the 41st edition of GITEX Global, and Expo 2020 Dubai, and hold several meetings with a number of major companies working in the ICT fields to discuss injecting new investments into the Egyptian market.

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