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    Minister of ICT Meeting with the Committee for Open Source Software Strategy

    Cairo, 2 February 2013

    Minister of Communications and Information Technology, Mr. Atef Helmy met with members of the committee responsible for drafting the strategy of using Open Source Software (OSS).

    Representatives of a number of Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) and a group of ICT companies in Egypt attended the meeting.

    The meeting aimed at recognizing latest developments and accomplishments in this regard, activating the government plan of integrating and adopting the open source software and its applications as a national strategy of Egypt.

    During the meeting, Mr. Helmy explained to the committee members the significance of creating an integrated system to develop this industry in Egypt and the need for an actual start of gradually shifting towards it.

    Mr. Helmy pointed out that Egypt must shift to the activation of open source software after entirely developing the surrounding environment. This is why we have to adopt a professional manner that relies on expert studies especially that we possess a good framework to start moving in this direction.

    Moreover, ICT Minister encouraged all concerned parties to participate, establishing a national information system industry based on using open source systems.

    He referred to MCITís readiness to provide all the support in order to achieve this course as a national strategy for Egyptís future.

    Mr. Helmy continued to stress that the plan is strategic to build an industry based on open source and its services.

    He said that all the initiatives offered by small companies are filled with creative prospects.  He also highlighted the magnitude of sustainability and competition in local markets coupled with the value of being present in Arab and regional markets.

    In November 2012, the committee for drafting the strategy of using open source software was formed, under a ministerial decree, to design an integrated strategy, thus shifting towards open sources as a national project for Egypt.

    Throughout its future plans and until 2017, this committee supported by MCIT,  aims to entrench the role of IT in community development, hence provide knowledge for all segments of society.

    It also aims at promoting this industry in a favorable legislative context, reducing government expenditure for IT solutions by cutting down on imports of closed-source software, improving Egyptís status in the balance of trade, enhancing human capabilities in this field and providing technological solutions for SMEs.

    At some stage in the meeting, a pilot project proposal of the complete shift cycle of the software was suggested, to be applied in both ministries of ICT and Administrative Development.

    In parallel, a community awareness campaign is launched to underline the significance of applying open source technologies, presence in specialized and public conference and exhibitions, and entering competitive markets in this area.

    In this context, Mr. Helmy asserted that MCIT is to provide necessary training and improve effective community networking. In addition, he said that Information Technology Industry Development Agency (ITIDA) is to support propagating and applying this strategy to encourage existing initiatives and companies in this industry.

    ICT Minister urges CSOs, the division of computers and software in the General Federation of Egyptian Chambers of Commerce, and members of the Egyptian Information Telecommunications & Software Alliance (EITESAL) and Chamber of ICT Industry to strongly participate in this initiative.






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