The Minister of Communications and Information Technology Amr Talaat met with a delegation of the World Bank (WB) experts, headed by Boutheina Guermazi, practice manager for Transport and Digital Development at the World Bank. The meeting discussed cooperation with the World Bank and benefiting from its expertise in developing the ministry’s strategy to transform to a digital economy.
Talat stressed the importance of benefiting of the WB’s expertise in supporting strategies for the transition to a digital economy. He reviewed the main axes of the ministry’s strategy and its projects aimed at increasing the contribution of the Information and Communications Technology sector to the GDP, and increasing technological exports. He noted that Egypt has skilled youth who can compete internationally in this field, explaining the sector’s plans to expand in regional and global markets by increasing exports to the Arab region, Africa, and Europe.
The minister also reviewed the programmes and initiatives provided by the ministry and its affiliates to empower young people in different technological disciplines. He also referred to the start of the ministry’s Initiative of Innovation Communities in seven Egyptian universities, as a first stage to support students and graduates of innovative entrepreneurs, and serve as incubators for youth.
Talat spoke about the economic reform measures currently undertaken by the state to attract investments. He pointed out that the ministry spares no effort to provide an attractive environment for investment in technological fields by developing required legislation, spreading technology centres in different governorates of Egypt, and improving telecommunications infrastructure, as part of the state strategy to transform into a digital society.
For her part, Guermazi reviewed the technical assistance and advisory services that can be provided by the bank to support the implementation of the ministry’s strategy.
The WB’s experts said that they will start with assessing the state’s readiness for digital transition, and setting performance indicators. They also stressed that the umbrella of digital transition includes governance and the supportive environment for innovation and entrepreneurship.
The WB delegation visited the Information Technology Industry Development Agency (ITIDA)’s headquarters, where they met with Maha Rashad, acting chairperson of the agency. The meeting discussed a number of proposed cooperation files between the ITIDA and the World Bank, of which discussing the establishment of a centre for automation and data exchange in manufacturing technologies, known as Industry 4.0, which includes smart factories that combine modern digital technologies, such as (Internet of Things, cloud computing, artificial intelligence) and physical sciences.