28 February 2022
During MWC Barcelona, ICT Minister Partakes in Ministerial Session on Climate Action, Meets Tech Mahindra

The Minister of Communications and Information Technology Amr Talaat has participated in a ministerial session on methods for developing digital policies to respond to climate challenge, as part of the Mobile World Congress (MWC Barcelona).

In his talk, Talaat confirmed that ICT enables innovative solutions to mitigate the impacts of climate change and build a green economy. He said that the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT) and its affiliates play an important role in setting green standards with the international community. MCIT is a member of Study Group 5 (SG 5) of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU). SG5 sets standards on environmental compliance, circular economy, climate change mitigation and adaptation, and green procurement, as well as for calculating the carbon footprint of ICT products and services.

The ICT Minister urged leaders of the ICT industry to unite and work towards a greener and more sustainable future.

Talaat explained the efforts of the ICT sector in Egypt to strengthen the foundations of work in mitigating the effects of climate change by adopting an environmentally friendly (green) ICT policy in all the activities and initiatives within the sector. He noted that the ICT infrastructure is being developed in more than 4,500 villages over three years, within the framework of the “Decent Life” initiative. The initiative targets approximately 58% of the Egyptian population, given the importance of providing ICT tools and internet connection to the villagers to develop them. The ICT Minister stated that the villages are being equipped with fiber optic cables as part of the efforts to protect the environment. Fiber optic cables consume 12 times less energy to transmit data than copper cables.

Moreover, the ICT Minister emphasizes that Egypt has an ambitious plan for urban expansion. The country is building 40 new cities over the next two decades and developing the national strategy for smart and sustainable cities, which includes plans to equip new cities with environmentally friendly infrastructure and technologies. This is while working in parallel on the gradual transformation of old cities to greener and more sustainable models.

Talaat added that Egypt is one of the major transit points for international submarine cables transmitting data, through its 4,000 km2 network. Furthermore, Egypt has great potential in the data center industry, which are being established according to green standards and regulations. The ICT Minister pointed out that data centers account for with about 2% of total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, making the shift to green data centers a necessity.

Moreover, the ICT Minister highlighted that MCIT is adopting a shared mobile tower approach to help reduces carbon emissions, in addition to deploying solar panels in telecom sites. He also said that MCIT attaches great importance to the rational management of e-waste. He added that joint projects are being implemented with international authorities to support this effort in both the government and the private sectors and to enable entrepreneurs, startups, and small businesses to play an effective role.

The ICT Minister pointed out that, according to the Global Electronic Sustainability Initiative (GeSI), the ICT sector has the potential to reduce GHG emissions by 20% by 2030. This is achieved by helping businesses and consumers save and use energy in a smarter way.

Talaat stated that MCIT projects are aimed at using modern technologies to adapt to climate change. Projects include guiding farmers on ways to responsibly use water and other resources through various applications, such as the “Hudhud” application, the farmer’s smart assistant, and Kenana Online platform. This is in addition to implementing various projects to manage groundwater, as well as cooperating with the Egyptian Meteorological Authority (EMA) to forecast and manage flash floods and mitigate their effects, building a weather forecast system supported by Artificial Intelligence (AI), and applying the severe weather alerts service based on geographical location.

The ICT Minister underlined that MCIT is working on evaluating various projects aimed at enabling environmental sustainability, including the use of AI to improve energy use based on studying consumption, as well as improving traffic and transportation ways to reduce carbon emissions.

Talaat also affirmed that Egypt is pleased to host the 27th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 27) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in Sharm El-Sheikh, drawing on the outcomes of COP26, Glasgow Climate Charter, and Paris Agreement.

On the sidelines of MWC Barcelona, Talaat met with the President of Tech Mahindra’s Communications, Media and Entertainment and CEO Network Services Manish Vyas. Tech Mahindra is one of the top 15 IT service providers in the world. The meeting discussed cooperation in outsourcing. The CEO of the Information Technology Industry Development Agency (ITIDA) Amr Mahfouz attended the meeting.

Tech Mahindra is an Indian multinational company affiliated with the Mahindra Group and is one of the fastest growing brands.

The meeting reviewed Digital Egypt Strategy for Outsourcing Industry 2022-2026, which is aimed at accelerating the growth of the knowledge economy. the Strategy is based on developing the digital and language skills of youth, promoting the startup ecosystem, and enhancing Egypt’s global position in the target markets. The meeting highlighted the capabilities and advantages of Egypt as a distinct regional and global hub for the outsourcing industry, and the incentives provided for foreign direct investment within the framework of the strategy.

The two sides agreed to organize an official visit for the company’s delegation to Egypt in March to closely explore some success stories of multinational technology companies specializing in offshoring services and operating in Egypt, and to discover the opportunities available in the Egyptian market.

It is worth noting that the ICT Minister is participating in MWC Barcelona, heading an official delegation from MCIT. MWC is the flagship global annual event for mobile phones and related industries; it is organized by the Global System for Mobile Communications Association (GSMA).

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