16 October 2022
ICT Minister Delivers Speech at ‘Digital Egypt: Transforming into Integrated Digital Society’ Symposium at ASU

The Minister of Communications and Information Technology Amr Talaat has delivered a speech during his participation in “Digital Egypt: Transforming into Integrated Digital Society” symposium, organized by Ain Shams University (ASU) at the Faculty of Medicine.

The symposium was attended by ASU President Mahmoud El-Matini, ASU Vice President for Postgraduate Affairs and Research Ayman Saleh, ASU Acting Vice President for Community Service and Environmental Development Affairs Ghada Farouk, and ASU Acting Vice Dean for Graduate Studies and Research Affairs at the Faculty of Medicine Osama Mansour, with the participation of 500+ ASU students. It was moderated by Advisor to the ASU Vice President for Community Service and Environmental Development Affairs Jihan Ragab.

The ICT Minister emphasized that the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) pandemic accelerated the pace of digitization and created great ICT opportunities. According to a global report applied to thousands of companies from different countries, he explained, the number of companies desiring to digitize their work has increased from 25% before the pandemic to 64% after several weeks of the pandemic.

The ICT Minister referred to the global trend toward partnership between humans and technology in several disciplines, such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), blockchain, Virtual Reality (VR), and Augmented Reality (AR), which has resulted in a significant change in the number and nature of jobs worldwide.

In his remarks, Talaat pointed out that the countries using modern technology currently are the ones witnessing a decrease in unemployment rates. He clarified that IT created opportunities for young people to compete in global labor markets.

Talaat added that data science-related jobs are the most appealing in the 21st century, especially those jobs related to word processing specialists, statisticians, chatbot designers, digital ethicists, and machine learning programmers. He urged the attending students to develop their abilities to be qualified to compete in the national, regional and international labor markets.

The ICT Minister reviewed the stages of technological development. He noted that modern inventions and technology adoption has become more rapid. It took 50 years to reach 50 million users of landline phones, according to the required time rates, while it took 46 years for the adoption of electricity, 19 months for Instagram, and just 19 days for Pokémon GO.

Talaat pointed to employing technology in various fields, including precision medicine, genetic evolution, 3D-printed organs, and AI image processing. He also referred to the emerging industries that are most market-in-demand, including multidisciplinary engineering, data analysis, AI, and urban design, such as the smart city that depends on ICT in its management and facilities, including smart energy, smart healthcare, and smart transportation.

The ICT Minister explained that the training system at the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT) targets ICT specialists and non-specialists wishing to learn and employ technology at their work.

The ICT Minister highlighted that MCIT established eight CREATIVA Innovation Hubs as a first phase. Currently, 14 new CREATIVA Innovation Hubs are being established in the second phase. He added that 150+ services are provided on Digital Egypt platform. In addition, projects are being implemented to provide access to and raise the efficiency of the Internet, which helped boost its speed eight-fold, placing Egypt at the forefront of Africa in Internet speed.

 In response to students’ inquiries, Talaat highlighted MCIT keenness to build the digital capabilities of youth to develop competencies and hone skills that are the mainstay of the ICT industry. They are one of the most significant challenges facing this industry.

 The ICT Minister pointed out that digital transformation is one of the pillars of building Digital Egypt. MCIT cooperates with all state ministries to digitize their services, clarifying the registration procedures and verification criteria on Digital Egypt platform, underlying that MCIT is keen to take all necessary measure to ensure citizens’ data protection on the platform. 

Talaat commended the efforts of ASU and its president. Areas of cooperation between MCIT and ASU were reviewed to raise the efficiency of ASU information infrastructure, boost Internet speed, and achieve steady steps in digital transformation within ASU. He noted that ASU is mostly advanced in automating university hospitals.

In his remarks, El-Matini welcomed the ICT Minister, describing him as one of the most significant experts in the region and the world. He emphasized ASU keenness to hold significant events for its students, to educate them and raise their awareness of all developments at various levels. He pointed to MCIT continuous support to the University, especially the technical support. This is in addition to the 24/7 communication with MCIT and solving any issue that may arise immediately.

El-Matini reviewed the period of the COVID-19 outbreak, a challenge for everyone, which led unprecedentedly to accelerating digital transformation. ASU launched the learning management systems (LMS), an e-platform that includes recording lectures, interactive and non-interactive lectures, e-payment, and others.

 El-Matini emphasized that digital transformation is not only implemented in ASU, but also in all Egyptian ministries, entities, and institutions. He pointed to university hospital automation at ASU, carried out in cooperation with MCIT and the Ministry of Health, which is close to being fully achieved.
El-Matini also referred to ASU Innovation Hub (iHub) as well as ASU Employment Center which receives ideas and visions of students, researchers, and graduates, and the support required for the success of these projects from all state institutions, led by MCIT.

Saleh expressed his pleasure to discuss these serious topics that would raise the awareness of students. He pointed out that Egypt’s success in achieving digital transformation guarantees its significant position worldwide.

Farouk welcomed ASU attendees, stating that digital transformation has become a necessity of life and is no longer a luxury, being integrated with all scientific disciplines.

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