25 December 2022
ICT Minister Showcases MCIT Strategy for Building Digital Economy before Senate

The Minister of Communications and Information Technology Amr Talaat has delivered a speech during a Senate plenary session. It was chaired by the President of the Senate Abdel-Wahab Abdel-Razeq.

Talaat presented the strategy of the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT) for building a solid digital economy. The strategy is based on three main pillars: achieving digital transformation, providing highly efficient ICT services to citizens, and encouraging entrepreneurship.

The ICT Minister emphasized that the ICT sector’s growth rate reached 16.7% in the fiscal year 2021/2022. He pointed out that the state is prioritizing citizens in all digital transformation projects aiming to provide digital government services to save citizens’ time and effort.

The ICT Minister stated that the Digital Egypt platform provides over 165 government services. Furthermore, numerous digital transformation projects are implemented in cooperation with different state sectors, with EGP 50 billion investments. The sectors include agriculture, health, higher education, justice, housing, and construction. Moreover, government is relocating to the New Administrative Capital as a participatory paperless government.

Talaat revealed that Egypt moved up on the World Bank’s 2022 GovTech Maturity Index (GTMI). Scoring high in the digital government indicator, Egypt came among the countries of Group A, the highest category of the Index, after being among the countries of Group B in 2020 and Group C in 2018.

Talaat pointed to the objectives of the digital economy, which include boosting digital exports, increasing domestic demand, and creating decent ICT job opportunities.

The ICT Minister explained MCIT efforts to develop digital infrastructure and improve telecommunications services by implementing several projects, including connecting 33,000 government buildings through a fiber-optic network, at EGP 7 billion. Another project is to install fiber optic cables in 3.5 million homes to serve 58 million citizens, within the Decent Life initiative, at EGP 60 billion. Furthermore, access to fixed broadband is being improved at EGP 100 billion, in three phases.

The ICT Minister highlighted that the efforts made to boost Internet speed helped place Egypt at the forefront of African countries in the median fixed broadband speed in 2022, compared to 40th in 2019, according to Ookla®️.
Talaat indicated that frequencies worth $2 billion have been provided to mobile network operators (MNOs) to improve telecommunications services provided to citizens. Furthermore, the number of cell towers has increased from 1,200 in 2020 to a target of 2,850 in 2022. So far, 2,802 cell towers have been established.
The ICT Minister indicated that several agreements were signed, in the presence of Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly, with 29 multinationals. These agreements will achieve annual export revenues of $1 billion by 2025 and create about 34,000 new job opportunities for youth to serve global markets through 35 delivery centers. The ICT Minister pointed out that 21 multinationals are expanding their outsourcing operations in Egypt, with another eight launching their outsourcing business from Egypt.
Talaat added that MCIT plan targets creating decent digital job opportunities for youth by providing specialized training to hone and develop the technical and soft skills required in the labor market. The Ministry also fosters innovation by supporting entrepreneurs and promoting creative thinking.
MCIT is keen to establish international partnerships with major specialized institutions and prestigious international universities to build digital capabilities and foster digital innovation among youth, said the ICT Minister.
Talaat highlighted that the number of trainees increased 56-fold over the past four years. The technical training budget increased 26-fold, rising from a target of 4,000 trainees, at EGP 50 million, to 225,000 trainees at EGP 1.3 billion in the current fiscal year.
The ICT Minister remarked that MCIT capacity-building strategy is aimed at preparing a specialized ICT talent pool to implement digitization projects, and encouraging youth to be freelance professionals to export digital services and join the workforce in other markets. This is in addition to expanding the centers of excellence (CoE) established by multinationals in Egypt.
Concerning MCIT efforts to create an enabling environment for digital innovation and entrepreneurship, Talaat explained that CREATIVA Innovation Hubs are being established in different governorates. The Ministry works to increase the number of Hubs from three to 30, with EGP 5 billion investments. He added that eight Hubs have been established and 12 more are being established within the second phase of the project. The third phase targets establishing seven more Hubs, added the ICT Minister.
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