Another wide open field for creativity is the creation of Arabic e-content. The e-content initiative launched in 2005 is a powerful ‘driver of change’ that will attract increasing numbers of innovators and creative people as the business opportunities in creating Arabic e-content are more widely appreciated. Business opportunities in the CIT field continue to grow, thanks to the strong support of various MCIT programmes. As an industry, CIT created many jobs and this is set to continue with the industry ready, and able, to absorb all the appropriately-trained people as they enter the labour market. The main growth area at present is in contact centers. International confidence in Egypt’s electronic future is being demonstrated by the many international IT firms that are choosing to locate their regional bases here, mostly at Smart Village. The outreach programme to the Egyptian community in all its geographic and cultural diversity will be revitalized in 2006. PC penetration, computer literacy and SME education have made good progress but are lagging expectations. The lessons of experience will guide the future. The e-government concept is becoming more widely understood as more services become available in more locations and via more media. However, there is still much for MCIT to do, as a facilitator and founder, to get all levels of government operating efficiently through the use of new technologies and for the bulk of the population to interact with the government electronically. MCIT’s policy work will continue in regard to the second phase of deregulation. Creating greater competition will create new employment opportunities in ICT sector and especially in the domain of providing value-added services and enable a variety of world-class services connecting business customers in Egypt to the region and the world, thus improving the competitiveness of Egypt as a base for telecom intensive industries such as business process outsourcing (BPO) and call centers. In short, MCIT remains at the forefront of developments that will take the nation successfully into the global arena. As an industry, CIT created many jobs and this is set to continue with the industry ready, and able, to absorb all the appropriately- trained people as they enter the labour market. 59 FIRM FOUNDATIONS for the KNOWLEDGE SOCIETY Future Outlook This past year has been one of consolidation and progress with the major schemes initiated in previous years to speed ICT tools nationwide and to establish the foundations for an export oriented ICT industry. Innovation and creativity are the themes for 2006. MCIT believes that contacts established this year with Egyptian expatriates working in the ICT, especially in the US, will result in, for example, expat IT experts establishing businesses at Smart Village, leading research projects at the Centers of Excellence founded in 2005, and inspiring the next generation to realize their creative potential in the exciting world of ICTs. 58 F u t u r e O u t l o o k les a Future Outlook