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    ICT Minister Meets USEBC, AmCham Members

    Cairo, 18 November 2019

    The Minister of Communications and Information Technology Am Talaat has delivered a speech during “Building an Economic Future through Digital Transformation” session, within the framework of The U.S. - Egypt Future Prosperity Forum, organized by the American Chamber of Commerce in Egypt (AmCham) and the U.S.-Egypt Business Council (USEBC) in collaboration with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce (USCC) in Washington.

    The forum was attended by the Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly, the Minister of Planning, Monitoring and Administrative Reform Hala El Said, the Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources Tarek El Molla, and representatives of a number of major multinational companies.

    During his speech, the ICT Minister underlined that the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT) is implementing a comprehensive strategy that targets contributing to building digital Egypt, based on two pillars: digital transformation and building the Egyptian citizen.

    Talaat stated that attaining digital transformation entails carrying out a number of major projects in collaboration with the State institutions. A bundle of government e-services were launched in Port Said as a pilot project, with the number to reach 170 services by the end of 2019, and to be later launched nationwide, added Talaat.

    In addition, he highlighted that the two pillars are based on two main props: developing the digital infrastructure to contribute to achieving the transition into a digital society, and creating an enabling legislative environment to ensure governing the digital environment, protecting personal data and promoting e-commerce.

    The ICT Minister also showcased the key economic indicators of the ICT sector that achieved a 16% growth rate during the first quarter of the current fiscal year, making the highest growing State sector. The ICT sector also contributed to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) with 4%, during the last fiscal year.

    Moreover, Talaat said that a number of projects have been carried out in the framework of achieving digital transformation. These projects include the farmer's smart card, implemented in cooperation with the Ministry of Agriculture, and restructuring the tax system, implemented in cooperation with Ministry of Finance.

    This is in addition to the comprehensive health insurance system, initiated in Port Said and to be applied in the second phase in four more governorates, then in the other governorates.

    The ICT Minister added that 800 government facilities in Port Said have been linked through an optic fiber network to ensure a smooth continued delivery of government e-services to citizens. In addition, the quality of voice and Internet services provided to citizens is currently being improved.

    Furthermore, Talaat asserted that the second pillar involves the contribution of MCIT in building Egyptian citizens, equipping them with the necessary skills to keep up with modern technology, and qualifying them for the local labor market through MCIT training facilities. The aim is to improve the Egyptian youth’s competitiveness in regional and global markets and transform Egypt into a hub for ICT industry, at regional and international levels.

    The ICT Minister also stated that work in under way to enhance the training capacity through establishing six new branches of MCIT training institutes in different governorates, as well as innovation centers to foster innovative youth. This is in addition to developing youth centers nationwide, in collaboration with the Ministry of Youth and Sports, connecting them with fiber optic cables and equipping them to provide training programs.

    Talaat underlined MCIT keenness on harnessing IT to serve the Persons with Disabilities (PwDs) and help them overcome their challenges; as well as improving health services using technology, through telemedicine units.

    On the sidelines of the forum, the ICT Minister held a bilateral meeting with the American delegation, including members from the U.S. Department of Commerce, the Export–Import Bank of the United States (EXIM). The meeting was attended by the U.S. Ambassador to Egypt Jonathan Cohen, and the CEO of the Information Technology Industry Development Agency (ITIDA) Hala El Gohary.

    During the meeting, Talaat ascertained that the Egyptian ICT sector incorporates a group of major American ICT companies.

    The meeting discussed enhancing bilateral trade between Egypt and the U.S., the available investment opportunities in the sector, the major ongoing projects and the significance of establishing partnerships with American and international companies in achieving Egypt’s digital agenda.

    In addition, the two sides discussed enhancing joint cooperation in a number of relevant topics, the most prominent of which were digital transformation, capacity building and Artificial Intelligence (AI). This is in addition to discussing the possible twinning with academic and research institutions, especially in light of establishing an applied research center and a specialized university for ICT at the Knowledge City in the New Administrative Capital.

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