Gitex Global Leaders Vision event heard Africa’s leaders talk about the digital transformation taking place in the continent. The session ‘Vision Africa’ aimed at highlighting the shared visions of creating an integrated and inclusive digital society and economy with a unified goal to improve the quality of life of citizens through economic empowerment, diversification and growth.
During the session ‘Digital Egypt: Opening new horizons for development and investment’, His Excellency Dr. Amr S. Talaat, minister of communications and information technology, shared with the audience major developments in the ICT sector in Egypt.
In line with Egypt vision 2030, the minister said that the Egypt’s ICT strategy aimed to increase the share of ICT in Egypt’s GDP with a push for increased ICT exports and job creation in the sector. “We're working on driving the government services through digital means, we're working on capacity building program and human development to foster an ecosystem that is conducive for entrepreneurship and startups”, he said.
Dr. Amr stated the vision was already producing results with 3,000 software engineers now exporting services to Europe’s automotive industry with more to come. He told the audience that 2,500 electronic engineers were now working in government design hubs which are collaborating with 50 companies using the hub labs as talent incubators.
“By 2030, Egypt will be a digital services export centre backed by available talent,” he said.
Asked about how the pandemic accelerated digital transformation in Egypt, he said, “In 2019, we had started major projects to strengthen our digital infrastructure. We invested over $2 billion on digital infrastructure and this enabled the country to embrace the challenges that were posed by the pandemic very fast. Businesses were not affected by the curfew and limitation of mobility.” He added that people were able to work from home as well as students were able to access classrooms safely.
He also talked about the ‘Decent Life Initiative’ that boast of investment of up to $700 billion aimed at touching the lives of 58 million people by providing them fixed broadband and fiber optic networks in more than 3 million households.
Regarding the FinTech space, he said that the sector was growing tremendously with the “pace that no one would have expected.” “We're working with the financial sector in Egypt to promote and encourage more startups to get into the FinTech sector. Egypt with a large population offers a very good market for financial product and Fintech companies are realizing this opportunity,” he added.
Concerning helping neighbors and African countries to grow the digital sector across the continent, he said, “Building win-win cooperation with our neighbors is a long-standing strategy and is a fundamental element of our strategy to build relations with our African neighbor.”