12 January 2022
ICT Minister Talks Future of Tech, Post-pandemic DX at WYF22

The Minister of Communications and Information Technology Amr Talaat participated today in a roundtable discussion titled “The future of technology and post-pandemic digital transformation,” as part of the World Youth Forum (WYF), which is held in Sharm El Sheikh under the auspices and with the presence of President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi.

Talaat expressed his happiness with the fourth edition of the WYF amongst promising and distinguished youth specializing in ICT. He emphasized that the key to success in any information project is measured based on its impact on development and service to humanity.

The ICT Minister pointed out that there are endless opportunities offered by digital technology to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and enable societies to develop and grow by relying heavily on modern technologies, including Artificial Intelligence (AI), the Internet of Things (IoT), the Fifth Generation (5G), robotics, 3D printing, blockchain, Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR).

The ICT Minister explained that the success of any developing country in achieving a digital renaissance depends on its ability to achieve SDGs. Moreover, he stated that there are models for relying on technology to achieve SDGs, including the goal of ending poverty (No Poverty) and achieving economic development.

Furthermore, he stressed that education is the key to the renaissance and any developmental movement of society, noting that the COVID-19 pandemic has a positive side that it has accelerated the pace towards hybrid learning which enables larger numbers of people to benefit from all educational resources. He added that healthcare cannot currently be achieved without information technology.

Talaat stated that among the SDGs is quality education, adding that technology provides wide opportunities for distance learning, which was evident after the COVID-19 pandemic. A project was implemented to provide high-speed Internet services for 2,563 secondary schools nationwide, at a length of 4,500 km from telephone exchanges to schools. A project to transform Egyptian universities into digital ones and develop their information infrastructure is being implemented to meet their requirements in achieving digital transformation.

Talaat explained that the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT) increased the budget for building digital capabilities 22-fold within three years, in light of MCIT interest in preparing digital competencies, to rise from 50 million EGP with the target of training four thousand young people, to 1.1 billion EGP with the target of training 200,000 during the current fiscal year 2021-2022 in various ICT sciences.

The ICT Minister stated that MCIT digital capacity-building initiatives, including Future Work is Digital (Egypt FWD), which targeted the training of 100,000 young people within 18 months and attracted 12,000 to work as freelancers in the local and global market, have helped youth export digital services worth $130 million.

In response to a question about Egyptian strategic partnerships to enhance the integration of digital transformation through international relations to enhance Egypt’s digital renaissance, the ICT Minister indicated that cooperation is taking place on two tracks. The first track aims to benefit from technologically advanced countries, in addition to attracting foreign investments to the Egyptian ICT sector. The second track aims to transfer the Egyptian experience and exchange experiences, explaining that cooperation is taking place with 52 countries, along with 29 organizations around the world.

The ICT Minister emphasized that Egypt will launch the Hybrid African Ring Path (HARP) submarine communication cable through Africa, aiming to deliver high-quality, high-speed, and affordable Internet connection to both coastal and landlocked African countries.

Talaat spoke about Internet ethics, noting that Egypt leads a group in Africa on Internet ethics. Furthermore, he emphasized the importance of an ethical system that protects Internet users by maintaining data privacy and protecting people from cyberbullying.

Moreover, the ICT Minister talked about the Metaverse, and emphasized that having a more effective means of education through this method is good, but one must not be separated from reality.

Moreover, the ICT Minister referred to the African App Launchpad (AAL) presidential initiative. He said that MCIT succeeded in training 10,000 young people in the field of digital games within three years. In addition, 100 Egyptian and African companies specializing in digital games were established.

The session was joined by Executive Vice President of Huawei Northern Africa Philippe Wang; Technical Program Manager, leading software engineering programs at Microsoft Dina Ayman; Professor of Advanced Materials Processing at the School of Metallurgy and Materials at the University of Birmingham in the UK Moataz Attallah; CEO of Generation Unlimited Kevin Frey; Founder of Thousand Eyes on Me in France Moojan Asghari; CEO of ADDO AI in Singapore Ayesha Khanna; Founder of Neural Being in Iran Anahita Moghaddam; and CEO and Founder of HydroIQ (Hydro logistics Africa) in Kenya Brian Bosire.

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