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The Egyptian ICT sector.. Continuous leaps in 7 years towards a digital society


The ICT sector has achieved huge leaps during the past 7 years since President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi took charge of the country, which was witnessed by global assessment indicators.

 

During that period, the sector succeeded in restoring its position on the global map of the information technology industry, which was evident in international data, reports and classifications, and Egypt's strong return as an attractive destination for investments and a pioneer in providing outsourcing services, information technology services and cross-border services.

 

Egypt has also regained its leadership and position at the level of international forums in the telecommunications and information technology sector.

 

According to the data of the Ministry of Communications, these achievements include the production of the first Egyptian mobile phone to be manufactured locally, the launch of fourth-generation mobile services, the technology zones, the Knowledge City in the New Administrative Capital, financial inclusion, and digital transformation.

 

Among the tangible achievements are the technological innovation and artificial intelligence complexes and the launch of the Egyptian communications satellite “Tiba 1”, in addition to the achievements in the international relations sector, where Egypt has assumed high-level positions regionally and internationally, as well as the clear growth in the sector’s indicators at the levels of development and modernization in the infrastructure sectors. Information infrastructure and system of services provided to citizens.

 

The sector received strategic support from the political leadership, which was evident through the launch of the presidential initiatives "Egypt the Future" and "Egypt's Future Scientists", followed by the "Future Programmers" and "Africa for Creative Games and Digital Applications".

 

Presidential support for the communications and information technology sector continued, which was represented by the inauguration of the President of the Republic, Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, the World Radiocommunication Conference, which was hosted by Sharm El-Sheikh, for more than a month, and organized by the International Telecommunication Union of the United Nations in 2019, which was held for the first time in 20 years. Outside the ITU headquarters in Geneva, with the participation of more than 3,500 participants from 140 countries, and more than 50 ministers and deputy ministers of communications from different countries of the world, in addition to the participation of more than 50 international companies and organizations working in the field of communications around the world.

 

Ambitious plans were also adopted that included many goals and axes, most notably the implementation of "Egypt Vision 2030" and digital transformation through the use and activation of ICT tools in all sectors of the state, and the development of a society based on the knowledge economy, and a strong digital economy that depends on availability and access to all segments of society. It enjoys its digital rights, in addition to the localization of the information and communication technology industry and making it globally competitive at the creative and commercial level, as well as upgrading the size of the electronics industry in Egypt, increasing the export capabilities of companies working in the electronics industry, and providing new job opportunities for young people.

 

4th generation mobile

And in September 2017, the fourth generation of mobile services was officially launched, bringing Egypt to the ranks of the countries providing fourth generation services, which are characterized by providing high speeds of the Internet and providing services for broadcasting images and visual transmissions, countries that need temporary storage of data, as well as providing advanced services for cloud computing, and raising indicators Egypt in international reports, especially since Egypt was one of the 6 countries in the world that did not provide 4G services yet.

 

The telecommunications sector, by offering the fourth generation licenses for mobile and virtual fixed land, pumped an amount of 1.1 billion dollars, in addition to 10 billion pounds in the state's public treasury, and this value was represented by what the three mobile companies in Egypt "Orange, Vodafone and Etisalat" paid to obtain the fourth generation mobile licenses, All hard currency transfers came from abroad, meaning that they are foreign direct investment that does not depend on Egyptian banks.

 

The same month of 2017, also witnessed the transformation of Telecom Egypt, in which the state owns 80% of its shares, into an integrated national operator of telecommunications services, after obtaining a license to establish, operate and manage 4G networks and provide mobile services last year, which amounted to 7.08 billion pounds.

 

The Taiba 1 satellite

 

Egypt has moved at a steady pace and achieved a lot in the field of peaceful uses of space, and established the Egyptian Space Agency to speed up the achievement of sustainable development goals, build digital capabilities qualified for employment among young people, shift towards a digital economy and access health and educational services to all parts of the country in urban and rural areas.

 

The Egyptian communications satellite "Tiba 1" was launched in November 2019, to bring about a qualitative leap in the ICT sector, "not only for Egyptians, but also for their Arab and African brothers, as this satellite represents a cornerstone to support the many development projects that Egypt is building today to achieve its strategy." 2030 for sustainable development.

 

"Tiba 1" is the first Egyptian communications satellite in the orbital position 35.5 degrees east in the frequency space (Ka) with the aim of strengthening the infrastructure of communications services, to support the government and commercial sectors within the Arab Republic of Egypt, and a number of Arab countries and Nile Basin countries.


technology areas

The President of the Republic, Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, issued a mandate in December 2015 to implement the technology parks project in the new city of Borg El Arab and the new city of Assiut as a first stage.

 

In its second phase, it was transformed into a national initiative to spread technological zones throughout the republic and support these zones with the necessary infrastructure to be prepared to receive all activities related to the communications industry, information technology and innovation, and related service and other productive activities, especially those that are characterized by their ability to operate numbers of A large number of university graduates, as well as stimulating investments in the electronics industry and industries supporting the various activities of the project.

 

Within the framework of developing and developing technology zones, promoting them and attracting investments in the sector, the “Silicon Oasis for Technological Zones” company was launched as an Egyptian joint stock company operating in accordance with the new investment law.


city ​​of knowledge

During 2016, President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi launched the start of the implementation of (Knowledge City), which is located on an area of ​​197 acres and includes the Center for Creativity and Innovation, the National Telecommunication Institute, the National Academy of Information Technology for Persons with Disabilities, the Egyptian University for Information Technology, Haram Building Digital displays, as well as control buildings, power distributors and fences.

 

 

During March 2021, an agreement was signed to implement the smart applications system for managing and operating the Knowledge City, which is being established by the Ministry of Communications in the New Administrative Capital, according to the latest modern systems in the field of information and communication technology.

 

The Knowledge City is a pioneering project in building digital Egypt, as it represents an integrated information society that is being established in the Administrative Capital, which has become the focus of the ICT leaders in the region, which was evident in its unanimous choice of votes at the meeting of the Council of Arab Ministers for Communications and Information, end Last year, it will be the Arab Digital Capital for 2021.

 

Within the Knowledge City in the New Administrative Capital, there is the Egypt Informatics University, the first university specialized in the fields of communications and information technology in Africa and the Middle East, in partnership with major international universities in the Knowledge City in the New Administrative Capital, with investments of 8 billion pounds, with a capacity of 10,000 students.

 

economic performance indicators

The pace of growth in the communications and information technology sector expanded, as the sector grew from 10% during 2014 to 16% (expected growth) during the current fiscal year to be one of the highest growing sectors, despite the Corona pandemic.

 

The sector’s contribution to the gross domestic product jumped from 58.3 billion pounds, or 3.8 percent, in 2014 to 125 billion pounds, with an expected contribution of 5% to the GDP during the current fiscal year, which ends on June 30, 2021.

 

The sector’s contribution to the GDP increased from 3.2 percent to 4.4 percent during the years from 2017 to 2020, while it is expected to reach 8 percent over the next three years.

 

Digital exports also increased from 1.6 billion dollars to 4.1 billion dollars, while the number of workers in the sector increased to 281,000.

 

Infrastructure

The state has invested more than 30 billion pounds to develop the communications infrastructure during the past two years. Work is underway to implement the third phase of the project this year with investments of EGP 5.5 billion, which has contributed to a six-fold increase in the speed of the Internet in Egypt from its levels in January 2019; The average fixed internet speeds in Egypt increased to 34.8 Mbit/s last December, compared to 6.5 Mbit/s in January 2019, as well as the implementation of a project to raise the efficiency of the information infrastructure for the villages of the first phase of the presidential initiative, a decent life.

 

The technological infrastructure necessary to automate the state sectors was also built with investments of more than 3 billion pounds, with the aim of providing digital government services to citizens through four outlets, namely the digital Egypt platform, post offices, and government service centers; And the call center (15999).

 

It launched 60 digital government services as part of a plan that aims to reach 170 services by the end of this year and 250 services next year; The number of citizens registered on the digital Egypt platform reached about 2 million, and 2.4 million transactions were made through it.

 

Post office development plans have been completed, as 781 post offices have been upgraded, bringing the total number of developed offices to about 1,600. Work is underway during the current year to develop 1,500 offices, bringing the total number of developed offices to 3,100 out of a total of 4,000 offices nationwide.

 

Egypt Post won the Universal Postal Union award "Express Cooperatives" for its excellence in serving express mail customers at the international level. This came after applying the highest quality standards and controlling the query and delivery periods.


digital transformation

The digital transformation projects came in cooperation with the state sectors to provide distinguished services to citizens, most notably the project to develop the agricultural tenure system and issue the smart card for the farmer, as well as the project to automate the comprehensive health insurance system, and to mechanize university hospitals, in addition to the digital transformation project in the higher education system, which includes the application of the system Digital exams, as well as government performance development projects, most notably the project to move to the new administrative capital as a participatory, paperless, smart government, and real estate project with the national number, as well as the real estate licensing system project to achieve rational management of real estate wealth through building an accurate geographical database integrated with the information infrastructure project of the Egyptian state.

 

The capacity building strategy is also being implemented through partnerships with international companies and universities to provide training opportunities for employment, with the aim of training 115 thousand trainees at a cost of 400 million pounds in the current fiscal year.

 

technology industry

The total investments in support of the information technology industry amounted to 180 million dollars over four years, in addition to concluding nearly 70 cooperation agreements with more than 45 investors, as well as providing 40,000 direct jobs, supporting 4,000 entrepreneurs, and creating 9,000 job opportunities. Directly to the Egyptian cadres of international technology companies, which have expanded their operations in Egypt.

 

Egypt came for the third year in a row among the top 9 global sites that provide cross-border information technology services to European markets, according to a report (Gartner), and Egypt ranked first in the Middle East and Africa in the global consulting firm “AT Kearney” index of global service sites 2019. It also occupied the 14th place globally with the same index, which monitors and evaluates the 50 most prominent countries that provide these services worldwide.

 

It ranked first regionally and continentally and fifteenth globally in providing outsourcing services.

 

information infrastructure projects

 

The most important projects in the field of information infrastructure for the communications and information technology sector were represented in cooperation with the Ministry of Investment represented by the General Authority for Investment and Free Zones in the automation of services in the General Authority for Investment and for the first time in government agencies, announcing the slogan “cashless and paperless” by providing many electronic payment channels, And the application of electronic signature services internally and between external parties, led by the Ministry of Justice represented by the Real Estate Registration Authority.

 

The first phase of automating the electronic incorporation service has been completed, and 4000 companies have been entered into the new automated system, providing association services to investors, and electronic signature services. The amendments services are being completed, including amending the basic data of companies and establishments, and automating the services provided by the General Investment Authority.


Artificial intelligence

The National Artificial Intelligence Strategy has been prepared; Work is underway to implement it within 3 to 5 years; The strategy includes two main axes: capacity building to create a base of specialists in all areas of artificial intelligence and data science.

 

Egypt's ranking in the "Government Readiness Index for Artificial Intelligence" issued by the Oxford Insight Foundation and the International Development Research Center advanced 55 places to become 56th globally among 172 countries, compared to 111th among 194 countries in 2019.

 

Egypt's ranking also advanced five places in the Comprehensive Internet Index 2021, to become 73rd among 120 countries, compared to 78th for the previous year; It also ranked fourth among the 29 African countries included in the index; The value of the index rose to 64.5 points, compared to 61.8 points in 2020, according to the report issued by the Economist Research Unit and published by the Information and Decision Support Center in the Council of Ministers; The report aims to assess the extent of access to Internet services within countries and their suitability to the needs of all segments of society, and how the use of the Internet affects citizens' lives and livelihoods.

 

cyber security

The Supreme Council for Cyber ​​Security was formed to be responsible for preparing the strategy, policies, programs and plans for securing critical communications and information infrastructures for all sectors of the country.

 

Egypt’s ranking advanced in the global index of cybersecurity readiness issued by the International Telecommunication Union 2017, where Egypt ranked 14th out of 194 countries included in the report, noting that the total index includes 25 sub-indicators covering five pillars of readiness, which are the legal, regulatory and technical aspects, international cooperation and capacity development .

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