14 March 2023
MCIT, UNDP Step up AI Cooperation

The Minister of Communications and Information Technology Amr Talaat has witnessed the signing ceremony of a project charter between the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). The project aims to promote the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) through providing technical and institutional support to the Applied Innovation Center (AIC), affiliated to MCIT. It also aims to help AIC achieve its goals towards promoting and using emerging ICTs in addressing, analyzing, and finding innovative solutions to national challenges as well as developing human capital.
The project charter was signed by the Head of the Central Administration for Financial and Administrative Affairs at MCIT and Project Director Samer Saeed and the UNDP Resident Representative in Egypt Alessandro Fracassetti, in the presence of AIC Head Ahmed Tantawy.
In this respect, the ICT Minister highlighted that the cooperation with UNDP comes within the framework of international partnerships that MCIT is establishing to adopt emerging technologies, including AI, the Internet of Things (IoT), and supercomputing. These technologies are used in implementing applied research projects to serve areas of development in Egypt and address the challenges facing the Egyptian society. This is in addition to developing local expertise by engaging youth in AIC projects.
Since its establishment in 2020, AIC has established successful partnerships with several major universities and research institutions to implement projects using the latest technologies in various fields, such as agriculture, health, and Natural Language Processing (NLP), the ICT Minister pointed out.
According to the charter, MCIT-UNDP cooperation will last for five years to develop and promote AIC technical and institutional capabilities to become one of the leading agencies in research and development (R&D) in emerging ICTs in Egypt and developing countries. It will also support AIC efforts to adopt appropriate measures to become a sustainable institution that uses modern technologies to address national challenges, solve strategic problems, and promote capacities through hands-on training.
The project aims to support Egypt’s transition into a digital economy, provide technological solutions to address the challenges of sustainable development, and create an enabling environment to develop and promote innovative startup projects. This is achieved through providing training to technical and administrative calibers, using emerging ICTs to address national challenges, supporting AIC in achieving financial sustainability, and developing and improving administrative and technical processes.
For his part, Fracassetti stated that digital transformation and innovation have become the language of the age, since no country can achieve real sustainable development without achieving digital transformation. MCIT-UNDP cooperation is a strategic and essential partnership, aiming to support innovation in Egypt, he added.
UNDP signed a significant project today that effectively contributes to creating a positive environment that helps enhance the transition into a digital economy and achieve development goals in Egypt. Innovation and digital transformation are key pillars for UNDP Strategic Plan as well as the five-year national program, launched this year. Thus, promoting digital transformation and innovation by supporting AIC has become critical today, especially in a world with many variables requiring Egypt to keep pace with continuous development, Fracassetti added.
Tantawy highlighted that the agreement is a major milestone in AIC supporting process. It includes mechanisms that enhance cooperation with beneficiaries in other countries worldwide to develop highly efficient solutions suitable to each country’s conditions, thus reducing efforts and potential risks, in general. Furthermore, all cooperating parties would gain different experiences in digital initiatives and joint development projects.
The Assistant Resident Representative for Inclusive Growth and Innovation at UNDP Abeer Shakweer stated that AI is significant for making a success of transformative change by helping countries to unleash the power of innovation. She said that UNDP is pleased to sign a new project with MCIT to support AIC technical, institutional, and human development to help the country solve various challenges using the latest technologies.

Moreover, AI provides new means to improve work efficiency and increase production rates gradually, and accelerate development by using new mechanisms different from traditional development models, she added.
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