Egypt’s Minister of Communications and Information Technology Amr Talaat has inaugurated the IDC CIO Summit, which the country is hosting under his ministry’s auspices.
The summit is being held in partnership with the Information Technology Industry Development Agency (ITIDA).
In his opening speech, Talaat said that stimulating innovative thinking and digital creativity is a major focus of Egypt’s digital strategy, and comes as part of his ministry’s keenness to invest in developing innovative national solutions.
These solutions involve using emerging technologies to achieve digital transformation in all aspects of life, and contribute to improving the quality of life of citizens and achieving economic growth.
The summit’s opening ceremony took place in the presence of decision makers and experts in major institutions and companies in various sectors. This year’s conference is being held online due to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Discussions focus on innovative digital strategies that meet the requirements of the new reality.
In his speech, Talaat said that the “Digital Egypt” strategy has witnessed a great development as part of implementing a number of innovative initiatives and projects. These have led to a strengthening of Egypt’s position on the map of the information and communication technology industry.
The ICT sector has maintained its position as the highest growing sector, and the growth rate is expected to reach 16% this fiscal year. Meanwhile, the sector’s gross domestic product (GDP) has increased from EGP 93.5bn to EGP 107.7bn during the last fiscal year (FY) 2019/20, with a contribution of 4.4% to the GDP. Moreover, digital exports grew from $3.6bn to $4.1bn.
Talaat reviewed the efforts exerted to reach an inclusive digital society through close cooperation between the public and private sectors. He pointed out that three huge projects are being implemented within the national vision of the Digital Egypt.
They include achieving digital transformation and digitising government services, digital innovation, and moving the government to the New Administrative Capital (NAC), which will result in a qualitative leap in the performance of the Egyptian government to transform into a digital government.
He explained that the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology is cooperating with all other ministries to transition into a digital government. A project was implemented to link 75 databases from various key government sectors, which served as a basic pillar for achieving digital transformation in two aspects, namely: digital services provided to citizens; and developing government performance.
The minister pointed out that the digital transformation system has been implemented in Port Said governorate, and action is currently underway to expand the project. This is with the aim of transforming Egypt into a comprehensive digital government.
Talaat stressed that 60 government services have been launched on the “Digital Egypt” platform, through which distinguished government services are provided to citizens.
Furthermore, to achieve digital inclusion, other outlets have been made available to provide digital government services to citizens who do not wish to deal with technology.
He stressed that the innovation centres of the Digital Egypt project are being implemented in universities to provide training programs, capacity building, entrepreneurship support and incubation for startups.
These centres aim to create unique opportunities to connect entrepreneurs, the academic community, and industry and investors. One of these, the Applied Innovation Center, was established two years ago, and cooperates with academic and research institutions and international companies.
Its work aims to develop innovative solutions to the challenges society faces, using modern communications and information technology. There is currently a special focus on the fields of agriculture, health, economic planning, infrastructure, smart cities, and Arabic language processing.