Ministry of Communications and Information Technology
6 April 2023
ICT Minister Delivers Speech during Freelancers Meetup

The Minister of Communications and Information Technology Amr Talaat has met with a group of freelancers, joining the local and global online freelance marketplaces. This took place during the Freelancers Meetup, organized by MCIT at CREATIVA Innovation Hub in Giza.

This meeting comes in light of MCIT keenness to open the door for a constructive dialogue with the freelancer community to develop the freelancer sector and enable freelancers to achieve career success and compete in the online freelance marketplaces.

In his speech, Talaat explained that MCIT has developed a strategy, five years ago, to increase training grants and number of trainees to rise from 4,000 to 225,000 trainees. He also highlighted that MCIT Strategy for Technical Training aims to find job opportunities for trainees and create job opportunities for young people outside Egypt to work from their own premises. Talaat also stressed that these initiatives have improved Egypt’s ranking by two places within two years in the ranking of the number of freelancers in relation to the population to move up globally from the 6th to the 4th place. This has also improved Egypt’s ranking by six places within two years in the country’s share in global market of freelancers to move up from the 14th to the 8th place.

The ICT Minister added that MCIT plans to integrate freelance skills into all training courses offered by MCIT, referring to “Our Future is Digital” initiative, launched by MCIT to empower young people in the freelance market. He also pointed out that the specializations within the initiative were increased from three to eleven and that the freelance courses on “Mahara Tech” platform will be increased, as two training tracks will soon be launched: one for cybersecurity and the other for artificial intelligence and data analysis. 

Talaat pointed out that the minimum paid-up capital for a one-person company has been reduced to EGP 1,000 instead of EGP 50,000 and that ITIDA is working with the General Authority for Investment and Free Zones to simplify the procedures for establishing one-person companies, so that the establishment can take place remotely by electronic signature.

They are also working on facilitating the establishment of virtual companies without premises and the possibility of registering the company’s headquarters at one of CREATIVA Innovation Hubs. Talaat also explained that meeting rooms and workspaces are being allocated for freelancers within CREATIVA Innovation Hubs.

The ICT Minister also pointed out that 47% of the workforce at the global level works in self-employment jobs as freelancers and that there are about one and a half billion working in this field, pointing out that 30% of Egypt’s workforce is self-employed.

The Freelancers Meetup witnessed a panel discussion with a group of freelancers, who achieved remarkable successes in the field of freelancing. They reviewed their knowledge and practical experience, the most important challenges they faced and their most prominent achievements in the field of freelancing.

An open dialogue took place between Talaat and the attendees on a number of issues related to freelancing. Participants in the Freelancers Meetup described some of the challenges they face, especially those related to bank accounts for freelancers, money transfers from abroad on their business income, matters related to tax collection and the inability to record freelancer as a job in the national ID.

In this context, Talaat stressed that work is underway to launch a platform for freelancers that includes a set of services to help them compete more effectively and acquire new skills, in addition to providing solutions to the challenges they face. He also added that the possibility of issuing an ID for freelancers registered on this platform is being considered to facilitate their dealings with banking institutions. As well, communication will be made with the Civil Status Authority to register this type of work in the national ID. Talaat also added that the platform will provide legal advisory services and tax accounting.

On the conditions for applying for training initiatives and services provided by CREATIVA Innovation Hubs for freelancers, the ICT Minister pointed out that all training initiatives offered by MCIT as well as all services provided by the CREATIVA Innovation Hubs to young people are free of charge. In addition, MCIT aims to establish CREATIVA Innovation Hubs in all governorates, increasing their number to 30 hubs. These offer an opportunity for freelancers to share ideas and exchange experiences with each other. 

Regarding improving internet services, Talaat stated that a project is being implemented to raise the internet efficiency throughout Egypt.

He also pointed out that a project is being implemented to install optical fiber cables in the villages of Haya Karima “Decent Life” Initiative to provide proper internet services in these villages.

The young people participating in the Freelancers Meetup praised MCIT vision to address the challenges facing freelancers as well as the initiatives MCIT offers to improve their skills. They called for holding networking events with international companies and for marketing the skills of Egyptian freelancers.

The Freelancers Meetup was attended by ITIDA CEO Ahmed Elzaher, Assistant ICT Minister for Strategy and Implementation Sherine El-Guindy, Chairwoman of the Information Technology Institute (ITI) Heba Saleh and Advisor to ICT Minister for Technology Innovation, Electronics Industry and Training Hossam Osman.                
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