23 June 2022
ICT Minister Delivers Speech at EU-Africa Business Summit

The Minister of Communications and Information Technology Amr Talaat has delivered a speech, via videoconference, in a session titled “Digital Transformation, Youth and Women Entrepreneurship” as part of the fifth edition of the European Union (EU)-Africa Business Summit.
The Vice-President of the Africa-Europe Diaspora Development Platform (ADEPT) Karen Kaneza, and the Business Development Leader for Africa at the Project Management Institute (PMI) George Asamani have participated in the session. The session has been moderated by Brussels Correspondent at France24 Dave Keating.
The ICT Minister emphasized Egypt’s keenness to enhance cooperation with Africa to achieve digital economic integration, and to establish effective partnerships with EU countries. He also added that the country is pushing forward the efforts to foster European-African cooperation through various projects aimed at serving common interests.
Talaat declared that Egypt is witnessing a quantum leap in achieving its strategy towards the transformation into an integrated digital society and building Digital Egypt by working on several pillars. The pillars include enabling all state’s sectors to achieve digital transformation, developing the information infrastructure, and providing the regulatory and legislative framework that supports the growth of the ICT industry. This is in addition to working on creating a talent pool and an enabling environment for digital innovation and entrepreneurship in technology fields.
Talaat emphasized that plans have been implemented to build citizens’ digital capabilities in cooperation with major global technology companies to provide specialized training at different and varying levels of depth and specialization. He added that the training budget was doubled 22 times within three years.
Talaat also stated that initiatives were launched to empower youth in freelancing. These initiatives included Future Work is Digital (FWD) which resulted in various success stories for Egyptian youth of both genders.
Talaat also pointed to the efforts made to support the entrepreneurial and innovative work of youth nationwide. The efforts included the deployment of CREATIVA Innovation Hubs nationwide, the launch of various programs to support digital innovation, and the implementation of applied projects at the Applied Innovation Center (AIC) to develop innovative technological solutions to meet the challenges facing society.
The ICT Minister highlighted the significant role of the government in building the ICT infrastructure in rural and remote areas. He pointed out that Egypt boosted investments amounting to $2 billion to raise the efficiency of the Internet, which contributed to increasing the average fixed speed eight times. Egypt ranked first in Africa in the average fixed Internet speed. Currently, the second phase of the project to raise the efficiency of the Internet is being implemented to achieve higher speeds and reach more citizens.
The ICT Minister also pointed to the “Decent Life” presidential initiative, which is one of the major initiatives aimed at achieving sustainable development goals in rural communities, benefiting nearly 58 million citizens. He clarified the efforts of the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT) to install fiber-optic cables to provide Internet access to 3.5 million homes in the villages of the initiative within three years.
Talaat highlighted that many African countries enjoy distinguished rankings in entrepreneurship. He pointed to the significance of utilizing the capabilities of young entrepreneurs and innovators properly to meet national and regional needs. The fulfillment of these needs requires working to create an environment conducive to entrepreneurship and establish startups by providing the regulatory framework and providing training to hone skills at large. The training includes honing the digital, personal and management skills and providing specialized training to meet the needs of entrepreneurship in various sectors.
Talaat outlined the measures taken to facilitate the establishment of Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) and to overcome the obstacles that may face young entrepreneurs in light of the growth witnessed at the entrepreneurship and startup sector.
The ICT Minister pointed to Egypt’s interest in bridging the digital skills divide and achieving justice in development by providing several programs and initiatives aimed at developing citizens’ digital skills nationwide and focusing particularly on bridging the gender gap in access to learning and work opportunities in different ICT fields. These fields include providing digital learning mechanisms, such as launching Mahara-Tech platform, and launching various programs and initiatives aimed at empowering women entrepreneurs.
The ICT Minister referred to Digital Egypt Builders Initiative (DEBI) which aims to empower youth to become world-class leaders capable of implementing Digital Egypt projects through a full scholarship available to outstanding graduates of all public and private universities nationwide. He also pointed to Digital Egypt Cubs Initiative (DECI) for school students nationwide.
The ICT Minister highlighted that Egypt University of Informatics (EUI) was established in the Knowledge City in the New Administrative Capital. EUI is the first university specializing in ICT and related fields in Africa. The University aims to provide distinguished educational services in cooperation with the most prestigious international universities.
Talaat also explained the multiplicity of Egyptian-African cooperation projects to empower and build the capabilities of African youth in ICT. He pointed out that the Hybrid African Ring Path (HARP), a new subsea system outlining Africa, was launched to provide Internet services to various countries of eastern and western African coasts and from them to all other African countries.
Regarding European initiatives to cooperate with Africa, Talaat emphasized the interest of many African countries in developing the data center and cloud computing industry. He also highlighted that Egypt has many competitive advantages that qualify it to be a destination for attracting investments in building and operating data centers that serve the Middle East and African region. These competitive advantages include, among others, Egypt’s geographical location as a major meeting point among Asia, Africa and Europe. This is along with the availability of numerous international submarine cables crossing Egypt via its territorial waters. The cables transmit more than 90% of the data from Asia and Europe and vice versa.
The ICT Minister called on European investors to expand their investments in the ICT sector in Egypt and Africa.
It is noteworthy that the 5th edition of the EU-Africa Business Summit is held in Brussels and is broadcasted online. The Summit is organized by the African Union (AU) in cooperation with the Directorate-General for International Partnerships of the EU Commission and the Belgian Federal Public Service (FPS) Foreign Affairs, Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation.
More than 150 participants, including African and European decision-makers, business leaders, officials of various companies, institutions, and civil society experts, participated in discussions aimed at facilitating and strengthening cooperation between EU and African countries.

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