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    ICT Minister Delivers Speech at Euromoney Egypt Conference 2019

    Cairo, 9 September 2019

    The Minister of Communications and Information Technology Amr Talaat has delivered a speech during his participation in Euromoney Egypt Conference 2019.

    Talaat presented the ICT sector key indicators that rose during the fiscal year 2018/2019, compared to the year before. The sector growth rate increased by 2% reaching 16%, and is expected to reach 17.5-18% during 2019/2020.

    In addition, the sectorís contribution to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) rose from 3.2% to 4%, and is expected to increase over three years, reaching 8-9%. The volume of digital services exports, also, increased from $ 3.2 billion to $ 3.6 billion USD.

    The ICT Minister highlighted Egyptís keenness on cooperating with international companies specializing in Artificial Intelligence (AI). He referred to the ongoing cooperation with a Chinese company in Natural Language Processing (NLP), especially with Egypt being a strong candidate for occupying a privileged position in the field of Arabic language processing.

    He, also, referred to the ongoing cooperation with a German company in early detection of diseases, with a Japanese one in early pest detection in agricultural crops, and with another company in identifying macroeconomic indicators. He added that work is under way to establish a base of qualified calibers in AI areas.

    The strategy of the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT) is based on four main pillars, said Talaat. The first is developing the ICT infrastructure, resulting in increasing the number of households with Internet access and boosting the Internet speed from 5.5 to 11.5 Mb/sec., with an expectation to reach 20 Mb/sec. by the end of this year.

    Talaat said that the National Center for ICT Services Quality Control and Monitoring was established to measure the quality of voice and Internet services provided by ICT companies in Egypt, on regular basis, thus helping companies improve the services provided to citizens.

    The second pillar is creating a base of skilled calibers in advanced technology. Talaat stated that the number of trainees is expected to double through increasing the number of branches of specialized training institutes affiliated to MCIT by establishing seven more branches.

    Moreover, the project of establishing a specialized ICT university at the Knowledge City in the New Administrative Capital is also in the pipeline, as well as a center for applied research.

    The ICT Minister, in addition, underscored MCIT keenness on fostering innovation and entrepreneurship through a number of initiatives carried out by the Information Technology Industry Development Agency (ITIDA).

    MCIT is cooperating with the Ministry of Investment and International Cooperation (MIIC) to implement Fekretak Sherketak initiative, a platform for supporting innovative ideas, with a special prop for ICT.

    This is in addition to collaborating with the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise Development Agency (MSMEDA) to provide microfinance opportunities through Egypt Post offices, nationwide.

    Talaat explained that the third pillar of MCIT strategy is to achieve digital transformation. He said that by the end of 2019, the number of e-government services launched in Port Said city, as a pilot project, will reach 174 services, provided through digital platforms and mobile applications. The project is due to expand in other governorates later.

    As for the fourth pillar, it is represented in creating an enabling legislative environment, with issuing the Cybercrime Law and drafting a personal data protection law.

    Furthermore, the ICT Minister stated that Egypt is due to host the World Radiocommunication Conference 2019 (WRC-19) in Sharm El Sheikh in October, during which the scientific definition of the fifth generation (5G) technology and its policies will be agreed upon and documented in Sharm El Sheikh Charter. 

    Talaat ascertained that Egypt is eager to cooperate with African countries in ICTs through a number of initiatives, the most prominent of which is the African App Launchpad (AAL) presidential initiative.

    AAL is implemented by MCIT to qualify 10,000 Egyptian and African young people and hone their skills to develop digital games and apps using the state-of-the-art technologies, as well as to promote the establishment of around 100 Egyptian and African specialized startups in this field.

    This is in addition to cooperating in applied research in advanced technologies, such as AI and telecommunications, especially as Egypt has more than 13 submarine and terrestrial Internet cables, and provides ICT services to different African nations.

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