The Way Forward Since its inception, MCIT has endeavored to make Egypt access the era of modern communications and information technology, as well as developing infrastructure to keep pace with ICT advancements worldwide, meeting the aspirations of the people of the country. MCIT works to support an Egyptian ICT sector that plays an active role in facilitating the achievement of political, social and economic goals through a strategy aimed at enabling the development of a knowledge-based society, and a strong economy based on equitable and affordable access to knowledge, digital rights of citizens, and the development of a competitive national ICT industry. The National ICT Strategy for 2013-2017 focuses on a number of strategic goals to integrate ICTs across all sectors and serve the national development priorities, including the preservation of the natural resources and the environment. In the formulation of this strategy, the primary considerations were the political and economic changes taking place in Egypt, the development of the communications sector both regionally and internationally and Egypt’s national development priorities, in addition to the achievements and challenges of the sector over the last decades. Despite the challenges that Egypt now faces, the ICT sector continues to grow at a higher rate than that of other sectors. The sector has contributed to Egypt’s GDP, improving its growth from 3.2% last year to 4.1% in 2013. MCIT is also committed to creating up to 50,000 direct job opportunities in 2013-2014. MCIT has taken notable steps in achieving a digital community in different parts of the country and making it easily accessible to Egyptian citizens by using a national identification number. It also strives to provide job opportunities for young Egyptians and attract investors. The government of Egypt is seeking to invest in different geographical regions of Egypt and laying 18 nautical telecommunication cables into the country from the Mediterranean and Red Seas. This would see Egypt becoming the country with the second-highest number of nautical telecommunication cables in the world. MCIT also seeks to provide resources and means to grow Egyptian ICT industry competitiveness locally and globally, and open-up new domestic and global markets, and drive the ICT legislations and policies, as well as providing and driving a list of mega projects through various models such as O&O and PPP. Approximately, Egypt is one of the top five nations in terms of exporting information technology services. Over the past two years it has improved the country’s basic communications infrastructure through the establishment of a Technology Village in Maadi, southern Cairo. As a result of investment on the development of human capabilities, in addition to other factors, Egypt is now extremely competitive in this sector. MCIT endeavors to continue its support to a prosperous Egyptian ICT sector and promote sustainable development in all state’s sectors during an era of political and economic challenges the nation is undergoing. 176 177