26 July 2022
ICT Minister Delivers Speech before ELBA


The Minister of Communications and Information Technology Amr Talaat has delivered a speech before the Egyptian Lebanese Businessmen Association (ELBA).
 
The meeting was attended by the Ambassador of Lebanon to Egypt Ali Al-Halabi, the Deputy ICT Minister for Institutional Development Ghada Labib, the Chairman of the Egyptian National Post Organization (ENPO) Sherif Farouk, ELBA Chairman Fathallah Fawzi, and the Chief Corporate Affairs Officer of Etisalat Misr Khaled Hegazy. This is in addition to several officials of the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT), with the participation of various Egyptian and Lebanese businessmen.
 
The ICT Minister emphasized that Egypt is taking steady steps towards achieving comprehensive development and building Digital Egypt. He pointed out that MCIT strategy is based on three pillars. These pillars include achieving digital transformation, providing high-efficient and stable ICT services, and creating digital job opportunities for youth. The strategy is aimed at providing easy government services to citizens and creating youth-dependent job opportunities for all scientific and academic backgrounds, in the ICT sector.
 
Talaat clarified that within achieving digital transformation, the Egyptian information infrastructure was developed by linking all government databases. This linking had contributed to forming citizens’ entitlements digitally, thus enabling the government to deliver support to those who deserve it and facilitating the disbursement of the precarious work aid at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.
 
The Government-to-Government (G2G) project was implemented to enable governmental bodies to exchange data, allowing citizens to obtain services provided by different bodies through a single outlet, Talaat added. Furthermore, big data centers have been established at the highest technical level to host and protect citizens’ data using state-of-art technologies.
 
Several weeks ago, President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi launched the Digital Egypt Platform on which more than 130 government services are currently included, Talaat noted. He pointed out that various digital transformation projects are being implemented in cooperation with different state sectors, with investments amounting to EGP 15 billion. These projects include the automation of the agricultural tenure system and the universal health insurance system, the completion of the law enforcement system, the development of economic courts and the remote litigation system as well as the automation of the real estate registration system. Additionally, the real estate ID system has been launched. Moreover, MCIT has cooperated with the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities to provide virtual tours of archaeological sites for people outside Egypt.
 
The ICT Minister highlighted that a new phase of e-signature services has been launched. He stated that the e-signature system has been activated in several stages, starting with its activation in government applications. Government employees will accordingly use e-signature in performing their work with the government’s relocation to the New Administrative Capital, the ICT Minister clarified. Then, the second stage of using the e-signature system will be activated in applications related to institutions and corporates, such as the e-invoice, in cooperation with the Ministry of Finance. The last stage is the application of the e-signature system to public services such as consular services for Egyptian expatriates.
 
Talaat pointed out that more than 90% of the data traffic between the East and the West crosses the Egyptian soil and waters. He explained MCIT efforts to expand the Global Information Infrastructure (GII) outside Egypt by increasing the number of submarine cables as well as expanding and developing GII inside Egypt. The local network that transmits data from the Mediterranean Sea to the Red Sea had been doubled from 2,700 km to more than 5,000 km. Moreover, GII has been expanded in Africa through the Hybrid African Ring Path (HARP), in addition to the expansion of data centers to transform Egypt from a country that transmits data to a country that hosts it. The largest international commercial data center was established in Egypt.
 
The ICT Minister stated that new frequencies were introduced to Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) in 2021, at a value of USD 2 billion. Furthermore, policies were also followed to accelerate the construction of cell towers. About 2,300 towers were established in 2021. These policies aim to establish about 2,800 cell towers by the end of 2022.
 
The ICT Minister pointed out that investments amounting to EGP 40 billion have been made to implement the first phase of a project for optimizing Internet connection. The project helped boost Internet speed and placed Egypt at the forefront of African countries in the median fixed broadband speed, with a median speed of 41 MB/s compared to the 40th rank with a median speed of 5.6 MB/s before 2019. The ICT Minister added that the second phase of the project is currently being implemented with investments amounting to EGP 40 billion over three fiscal years, to replace copper cables with fiber-optic cables.
 
The ICT Minister revealed that MCIT plays a significant role in the Decent Life initiative. MCIT is implementing Fiber-To-The-Home (FTTH) to improve access to fixed broadband for more than 3.5 homes, with investments of EGP 25 billion.
 
Talaat stated that MCIT followed a plan to develop post offices in terms of structure and services to provide all financial, postal, and governmental services to citizens. So far, 3,370 out of 4,000 post offices have been developed. New outlets were also introduced to provide new services within Egypt Post, such as Digital Egypt services, Wassalha, and Yalla Super App. The new services are aimed at reaching new segments of the Egyptian society. This is along with the deployment of 140 mobile post offices.
 
Various heritage post offices have been renovated, Talaat pointed out, such as Aswan Post Office. This is in addition to raising the efficiency of the historic Egypt Post building at Al-Ataba Square and developing the Egyptian Postal Museum.
 
The ICT Minister emphasized that a strategy is being implemented to upskill people, build digital capabilities, foster creativity, and promote innovative thinking. The strategy is aimed at training more than 225,000 people during the current fiscal year 2022/2023, with investments of EGP 1.3 billion. This strategy is implemented in cooperation with major global technology companies to build digital capabilities for all community groups and according to various levels.
 
The ICT Minister pointed out that the strategy includes various initiatives aimed at helping youth access the freelancing market, most notably Egypt Future Work is Digital (Egypt FWD) and WE Schools of Applied Technology. About six WE Schools were established in different governorates. Furthermore, WE Schools will be established nationwide during the coming period.
 
The ICT Minister highlighted that Egypt University of Informatics (EUI) was established in the Knowledge City in the New Administrative Capital. Moreover, the first batch of Digital Egypt Builders Initiative (DEBI) graduated. Global partnerships were established through DEBI to grant master's degrees in one of the modern technology disciplines.
 
Talaat indicated that eight CREATIVA Innovation Hubs have been opened to foster entrepreneurs and innovators in different governorates, including in Upper and Lower Egypt. Currently, 19 CREATIVA Innovation Hubs are being established, he added.
 
Talaat also explained that digital exports reached about USD 4.9 billion during the last fiscal year. The ICT sector has achieved a growth rate of about 16.7% in the fiscal year 2021/2022, being the highest-growing state sector, Talaat noted. Furthermore, foreign investments in Egyptian startups rose from USD 190 million in 2020 to USD 490 million in 2021 and are aimed to reach USD 850 million during the current year.

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