5 June 2023
ICT, Culture Ministers Discuss Developments in Launching Egypt Digital Heritage Platform Project


The Minister of Communications and Information Technology Amr Talaat and the Minister of Culture Neveen Al Kilany have held a meeting to follow up on the developments of launching Egypt’s digital heritage platform project.

The project is being implemented through cooperation between the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT) and the Ministry of Culture to make the Egyptian cultural content available to Internet users, preserve Egypt’s cultural leadership and heritage, and disseminate Egypt’s culture worldwide.

The meeting delved into the most prominent achievements made in the projects implemented in cooperation between the two ministries. These projects include completing the digitization of the paper content of the General Egyptian Book Organization (GEBO), with a total of 8,461 books and 625 magazines, and delivering a full digitized version of the outputs of the digitization process of GEBO. This is in addition to completing the digitization of paper content available from the Academy of Arts, with a total of 110 books, 17 issues of the Contemporary Art magazine, 489 photographs, and 1,710 scientific theses, and delivering a full digitized version of the outputs of the digitization process of the Academy of Arts works.

Extracting metadata for the digitized content of the National Library and Archives has also been completed, with a total of 11,300 books. Currently, the recordings of the Cairo Opera House concerts are being digitized, including audio and videotape recorded concerts and their galleries archived at the Music Library. Furthermore, about 8,000 hours of audio have been digitized, and thus are currently in the review and delivery process.

During the meeting, the ICT Minister underscored that MCIT, the Ministry of Culture, and various agencies are cooperating in implementing a project to document the content and form of the rich and varied Egyptian audio and literary heritage to preserve and make them accessible through digital means for researchers and those interested in culture.

Talaat indicated that both sides discussed opening new horizons of cooperation between the two ministries in several areas aiming at capitalizing on ICTs to serve the functions of the Ministry of Culture and preserve its cultural legacies, including a project to document the artistic legacy of the Ministry of Culture in terms of painting and make them available to those interested in arts digitally. This is in addition to preserving the legacies of the National Library and Archives and leveraging various technologies, such as scanners or optical character recognition (OCR).

Talaat stated that the establishment of a virtual palace of culture was also discussed to enable those talented and skilled in various arts to showcase their talents through this platform, similar to cultural palaces. He looked forward to fostering more cooperation between the two ministries.

El Kilany thanked Talaat for his keenness on digitizing and preserving Egypt’s cultural legacies reflecting the positive impact of soft powers on our societies. She highlighted that the Ministry of Culture is striving to enhance cooperation with MCIT in preserving Egypt’s heritage digitally, thus contributing to making the cultural legacies accessible for all, keeping pace with the digital age, and achieving accessibility nationwide, as a main pillar to achieve digital justice targeted by the Ministry of Culture.

The Minister of Culture emphasized that the coordination between the two ministries helps implement the cooperation protocol inked between the two ministries in 2019 and carry out the future plans, which have not been set forth in the protocol. These plans would be a key nucleus of a new cooperation protocol, in line with the vision of building the new republic and the state’s efforts to achieve digital transformation of our national institutions, including the cultural ones.

It is worth noting that MCIT and the Ministry of Culture inked a protocol in 2019 on implementing Egypt’s digital cultural content platform project.

The meeting was attended by the Assistant ICT Minister for Strategy and Implementation Sherine El-Guindy, the Advisor to the ICT Minister for Technological Talents Hoda Baraka, and the Head of Digital Heritage at MCIT Hesham El-Deeb.
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