A total of EGP 12.7bn has been allocated in fiscal year (FY) 2020/21 to digital transformation projects across Egypt, according to Minister of Finance Mohamed Maait.
The finance comes under the “Digital Egypt” initiative, in line with presidential directives aimed at strengthening governance, efficient management of state resources, and accuracy of data collection. The initiative is set to help Egypt automate public services and facilitate financial inclusion.
Maait noted that the government’s move towards a digital transformation of all processes and procedures in Egypt is proceeding strongly.
The necessary financial allocations have been provided to complete the modernisation of the information infrastructure and digital content, as well as the automation of all government documents. It is also ensuring the technological and information infrastructure is prepared for the move to the New Administrative Capital (NAC).
He added that Egypt’s political leadership is keen on building the country’s digital capabilities through a unified mechanism system that supports the digital transformation. This is, he also said, one of the routes towards economic growth, and effectively contributes to building competitive and diversified economies. It also encourages the establishment of a modernised society that supports knowledge and innovation, and attracts investment, whilst achieving integration between databases to provide services.
Maait also said that the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis has emphasised the wisdom of Egypt’s political leadership in laying the foundations for digital transformation. This is primarily through its benefits in encouraging citizens to participate in the preventive measures that have been put in place to curb the virus’ spread, including social distancing.
The minister pointed out that the Ministry of Finance will integrate all its electronic systems during the current fiscal year, with the transition to be completed by the end of June 2021.
Maait pointed out that his ministry is vigorously undertaking a modernisation and automation of the country’s tax administration and electronic tax invoice systems. He noted that this will help in a fairer and more accurate taxation system, whilst also integrating the informal economy into the formal economy. The move will also help the government achieve tax justice in a manner that contributes to the realisation of the state’s right.
Maait added that the Ministry of Finance has also made great strides in modernising and automating the customs administration system. It is projected that about 90% of exports and imports are scheduled to be managed electronically by the end of December 2020, through the logistical centres system.
In this way, it will contribute to simplifying procedures and reducing the release time to under five days. It will also help in reducing customs clearance costs to stimulate Egypt’s investment environment and improve its ranking in international business performance indicators.
The minister also explained that the state’s general budget, revenues, and expenditures, is managed electronically as part of efforts to control financial performance. At the same time, the digitisation raises the efficiency of public spending, and tightens control over disbursement, whilst also providing accurate, instantaneous data.