Egypt’s Ministry of Planning and Economic Development has participated in a United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) event entitled “Industrialization in the Digital Age: Main Results and Visions of the Industrial Development Report 2020”.
The online event took place within the activities of the 53rd session of Conference of African Ministers of Finance, Planning and Economic Development.
Deputy Minister Ahmed Kamaly, who represented the ministry at the event, gave a speech during which he stressed the Egyptian state’s interest in implementing comprehensive digital transformation.
He said there is increasing demand for technology in all sectors, indicating the importance of a rigorous application of digital transformation.
Kamaly added that Egypt’s transformation focuses is on the production of digital technology and information technology.
He shed light on the state’s interest in supporting vocational training and education, pointing out the establishment of nine technological universities in Egypt.
Kamaly noted that Egypt’s communications and information technology (CIT) sector has enjoyed a doubled growth rate over the past three years.
He said that the rate of government investment directed to this sector amounts to approximately 6.7% of the country’s total investment. The largest percentage of it is directed to infrastructure and improving the IT sector’s network in Egypt.
He added that the total rate of foreign direct investment (FDI) pumped into this sector reached 3.7% during fiscal year (FY) 2019/20, and therefore work must be done to increase this percentage.
Kamaly also shed light on the Egyptian state’s interest in digital transformation in the education system by developing the pre-university education system to rely on IT and creative thinking.
He noted that the government supports the trend in establishing technological centres to serve citizens and facilitate the provision of government services to citizens faster.
Technological centres were established to encourage the principles of governance, eliminating corruption, and reducing human interference in government transactions, according to Kamaly.
He added that the Egyptian state is also working on using technology in social protection, through the use of automated cards to distribute subsidies.
The Egyptian state also uses satellite technology to monitor the status of national projects underway.
Kamaly said that the emergence of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has contributed to highlighting the importance of digital transformation. It has led to the state intensifying its efforts to implement digital transformation in various fields.
He also highlighted the idea of the “digital divide” and its exacerbation of inequalities, both inside Egypt and outside. Work must be done to bridge this gap, by increasing investments in this vital sector, in addition to improving access to technological means to include the entire society.