Amr Talaat, Minister of Communications and Information Technology, affirmed that Egypt’s digital strategy aims to enhance the contribution of the communications and information technology sector to the gross domestic product, attract foreign investments, and support Egypt’s capabilities in the field of international connectivity. This came in a speech delivered by Talaat during the meeting organized by the American Chamber of Commerce in Cairo.
Talaat explained the intensive efforts made by the ministry to enhance Egypt’s position as a leading destination for cross-border information technology services, which resulted in an increase in the volume of digital exports to reach $4.9bn, and the signing of agreements with 29 international companies that add export revenues worth $1bn annually by 2025 and provide 34,000 job opportunities for young people to serve global markets through 35 centres for exporting information technology services; referring to the investment incentives provided to international companies specialized in the field of cross-border services to encourage them to create new export-oriented job opportunities, in addition to providing training support incentives. He added that capacity-building programs are being implemented in the field of electronic design, which will contribute to increasing the number of specialists in this field by 65% by the end of 2023, thus contributing to attracting more electronic design centers and maximizing exports in this field.
He indicated that the communications and information technology sector achieved a growth rate of 16.3%. He explained the reform measures that have been taken to create a supportive environment for business development in the telecommunications and information technology sector, which include the issuance of the Information Technology Crimes Law and the Personal Data Protection Law.
Talaat pointed out that Egypt’s ranking in ADSL speed has advanced to become the first in Africa in average fixed internet speed in the current year, with an average speed of 45 Mbps, compared to the 40th position in early 2019, according to Oocla International; noting that more than 90% of the data traffic between Asia and Europe passes through Egypt through 14 submarine cables, and 5 new submarine cables are currently under construction.
He emphasized the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology’s keenness to support technological innovation through the implementation of a project to spread Egypt’s Digital Innovation Centers throughout the Republic, noting that it hosted 24 electronic design companies at the Innovation Center in Knowledge City, in the New Administrative Capital.
After his speech, Talaat conducted an open dialogue with members of the American Chamber of Commerce in Cairo. Amr Talaat indicated that work is underway to issue the Data Classification Law and the “Cloud First Policy”; explaining that community discussions and dialogues will be held with companies and civil society organizations to ensure reaching a formula that achieves the public interest.
In a related context, Talaat met with Marissa Lago, US Deputy Secretary of Commerce, to discuss ways to enhance cooperation between Egypt and the United States in a number of fields, most notably: digital transformation, digital capacity building, data centres, outsourcing, and postal services.
The two sides discussed the exchange of experiences in the fields of the fourth generation of Industry and the regulatory aspects related to modern technologies. They also discussed opportunities to attract American small and medium companies to invest in Egypt, in addition to discussing strengthening technical and scientific cooperation with American research and development centres in artificial intelligence projects.