14 December 2021
ICT Minister Delivers Speech before Parliament Committee for Defense and National Security


The Minister of Communications and Information Technology Amr Talaat has delivered a speech before the House of Representatives' Committee on Defense and National Security, chaired by Ahmed Al-Awadi, and in the presence of Chairman of the House of Representatives' Committee on Communications and Information Technology Ahmed Badawy, Deputies of Chairman of the Committee on Defense and National Security Ahmed Yahya El-Gahsh and Ibrahim Masry, Secretary of the Committee Mohamed Abd El Rahman Rady, Executive President of National Telecom Regulatory Authority (NTRA) Hossam El-Gamal, Telecom Egypt Managing Director and CEO Adel Hamed, CEO of the Information Technology Industry Development Agency (ITIDA) Amr Mahfouz and Vice Chairman for postal areas affairs at the Egyptian National Post Organizations (ENPO) Abdo Elwan. 

The ICT Minister underlined that 100 government services were launched on Digital Egypt platform among the service packages of supply, traffic, notary, civil status services, social insurance, commercial registry, court, and real estate tax. He also pointed out that a digital, secured system has been built to provide services through several outlets, namely Egypt Post, the Call Center 15999, mobile phones and Digital Egypt platform with various e-payment methods, and that necessary measures are taken to ensure continuity of service. He also noted that several mechanisms have been made available to allow citizens to track the status of their services as well as for the delivery of requested documents to their homes. 

In his speech, the ICT Minister highlighted the upsurge in the indicators of ICT sector, which achieved the highest growth rate among the state sectors, with a growth rate of about 16% in the fiscal year (FY) 2020/2021. He also pointed out to the increase of the ICT sector’s contribution to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) from 3.2% in 2017/2018 to 5% in FY 2020/2021 as well as to the growth of digital exports from USD 3.6 billion in 2018/2019 to USD 4.5 billion in 2020/2021. This is in addition to the growth of the number of employees in the ICT sector, from 233,000 in 2017/2018 to 281,000 in 2019/2020.

Talaat also pointed out to Egypt’s ranking in Network Readiness Index to rise from 92nd to 84th globally. He added that Egypt ranked among the top 10 improvers in digital inclusion and that the country moved up 55 places on the Government AI Readiness Index, occupying the 56th spot worldwide, compared with the 111th in 2019.

The ICT Minister also reviewed MCIT strategy pillars: digital transformation, capacity building and infrastructure. He stated that several projects are being implemented in cooperation with government agencies and institutions to achieve digital transformation in all sectors and implement the project of relocating the government to the New Administrative Capital as a participatory, paperless government.  

Talaat also pointed out that the number of trainees taking part in the specialized training programs provided by MCIT and its affiliated training entities increased from 4,000 with a budget of EGP 50 million in 2018 to 148,000 with a budget of EGP 400 million in 2020. MCIT targets providing training to 200,000 trainees with a budget of EGP 1.1 in FY 2021/2022.

The ICT Minister highlighted that MCIT training strategy is implemented based on a pyramid-shaped approach that starts with providing specialized training in technological schools, moving to offering a diploma in applied technology, then providing training through technological institutes to offer a semi-higher education diploma and a bachelor’s degree in technology. The training then moves up to offering an academic bachelor’s and master’s degrees through Egypt University of Informatics (EUI). The top of the pyramid is to offers a specialized diploma in Artificial Intelligence (AI), in collaboration with the École Pour l'Informatique et les Techniques Avancées (EPITA) and Amazon Web Services (AWS), then a professional master’s degree, along with hands-on training in a company through Digital Egypt Builders Initiative (DEBI) and training in different technology domains and management skills for university graduates.

The ICT Minister added that Egypt has a thriving entrepreneurship and startup ecosystem thanks to the efforts to promote technology innovation, including the implementation of a project to spread CREATIVA Innovation Hubs across different governorates. The project’s first phase included establishing seven hubs, while the second phase targets the establishment of nine more, at a total cost of EGP 1.5 billion for both phases. These efforts also included the launch of several initiatives to empower young people in freelancing, including the Future Work is Digital (FWD) initiative. Talaat also pointed out that Egypt ranked first in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region in the number of investment deals for startups. He added that the Knowledge City is being established in the New Administrative Capital according to the latest global technologies, with all ICT elements, including R&D centers, training centers, incubation units to foster innovative projects and headquarters of global and local companies specializing in technology.

Talaat reviewed MCIT efforts to build a robust information infrastructure across Egypt, with investments of EGP 60 billion to boost internet speed. This resulted in an increase in the average internet speed from 6.5 Mbps in January 2019 to 45.8 Mbps in October 2021, placing Egypt in the 4th place in Africa compared to the 40th in January 2019.

As part of the efforts to improve the quality of telecommunication services, 80 MHz of spectrum was added in the Time Division Duplex (TDD) 2600 MHz frequency band, with USD 1,170 billion. In addition, the number of cellular towers was doubled from 600 to 1200 towers in the first half of 2021, with parallel work on the governance of telecommunication services.

The ICT Minister pointed out that the investments in the development plan of Egypt Post reached EGP 4 billion in the current year. He highlighted that the total number of post offices reached about 4,147 and it is targeted to increase them to reach 4200 by the end of the current year. He also stated that the number of developed post offices reached around 2,855 and their number is targeted to reach 3,130 by the end of 2021. New postal outlets were also developed by establishing 147 post offices out of 200 targeted by the end of 2021. The total number of postal kiosks reached around 35 out of 50 kiosks targeted by the end of 2021. In addition, the number of mobile post offices reached around 83 vehicles, with post staff and an automatic teller machine (ATM) out of 89 mobile post offices targeted by the end of 2021. The total number of ATMs reached 750 out of 1750 targeted by the end of 2021.                                         

At the end of the meeting, Al-Awadi presented an honorary shield to the ICT Minister in appreciation of his efforts.

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