29 September 2022
ICT Minister Delivers Speech at Strategic Innovation for Structural Transformation Conference

The Minister of Communications and Information Technology Amr Talaat has delivered a speech during his participation, today, in a discussion session held at the ministerial level, on the sidelines of the Strategic Innovation for Structural Transformation Conference. The Conference has been organized by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Egypt in partnership with the Ministry of International Cooperation.

The Minister of International Cooperation Rania Al-Mashat and the UNDP Resident Representative in Egypt Alessandro Fracassetti participated in the meeting. It was moderated by UNDP Assistant Resident Representative for Inclusive Growth and Innovation Programs Abeer Shakweer.

The ICT Minister emphasized the significance of digital transformation and innovation in addressing the changes witnessed worldwide. He pointed out that MCIT established the Applied Innovation Center (AIC) in 2019 to create modern technologies-based solutions to overcome societal challenges in all fields, such as water resources, agriculture, and health care.

He also stated that systems have been devised using Artificial Intelligence (AI) for early diagnosing of corneal diseases caused by diabetes. This year, innovative solutions addressing with more diseases will be implemented in the field of health care, in cooperation with the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Higher Education, and university hospitals.

Talaat stated that transformations have been witnessed during the past years proving that the world is changing at a tremendous speed. He highlighted the significance of data availability to empower decision-makers to make decisions more accurately.

He also highlighted the significance of building systems using IT to empower decision-makers to analyze the current situation and predict the developments made in the political, economic, and other areas at the national, regional, and global level. Thus, solutions would be created, and innovations would be provided to meet the challenges that will occur in the future. Software factories integrate software components in different forms to create solutions and systems very quickly. The time required to develop software represents a major challenge.

The ICT Minister pointed out that MCIT began creating a system to deploy innovation among youth through the establishment of CREATIVA Innovation Hubs nationwide to foster, incubate and transform the ideas of youth into IT-based solutions that serve the community. He pointed out that 11 CREATIVA Innovation Hubs have been established. Furthermore, seven new Hubs are due to be inaugurated within a pilot phase before the end of this year, and these Hubs will be established nationwide to include all governorates.

Talaat pointed out that Egypt occupies the second place regionally in terms of the volume of foreign investments in startups in the ICT sector and occupies the first place in the number of deals. Foreign investments in startups of about $190 million were attracted in 2020, rising to $490 million in 2021 and expected to reach $850 million in 2022.

The ICT Minister talked about IT as it is no longer apart from the creative arts, such as drawing and art. He referred to the digital arts, which has become one of the most significant disciplines of ICT sciences. Science and art are combined to produce an IT-based innovative artistic product. He explained that the Faculty of Digital Arts and Designs was established at Egypt University of Informatics (EUI).
Talaat explained that the ICT sector provides innovative solutions to all state sectors. He pointed to the significance of unleashing young people's creativity at preliminary stages to empower them to innovate and provide effective solutions to a constantly changing world.
The Conference discussed various aspects of strategic innovation and the effects of complex global challenges, such as climate change, the COVID-19 pandemic, and economic and food security challenges, due to the Russia-Ukrainian war. These aspects and challenges require building more resilient institutions and indigenizing innovation as a fundamental strategic direction for creating a brighter future. The Conference also presented the best practices of different concerned parties, including the government, the private sector, and international and non-governmental organizations.

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