Egypt is accelerating its efforts to fulfil the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), especially in the field of digital transformation and improving related infrastructure.
During the Global Manufacturing and Industrialisation Summit (GIMS 2021) in Dubai, Egypt’s Minister of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Amr Talaat presented Egypt’s ambitious strategy for digital transformation.
Egypt’s ICT 2030 strategy aims at attaining certain objectives, including developing the country’s ICT infrastructure, boosting digital inclusion, achieving the transition to a knowledge-based economy, building capacities and stimulating innovation, fighting corruption, ensuring cybersecurity, and promoting Egypt’s position at the regional and international levels.
Digital Egypt is built on three main pillars: digital transformation, digital skills, and jobs and digital innovation.
Talaat explained that Egypt is implementing a number of significant projects including establishing smart cities and turning the country into an integrated digital community.
It is building 17 smart cities that will be inaugurated by 2022, the minister said. The government is also injecting investments to upgrade the telecoms and ICT infrastructure across the country, he told the participants at the GMIS 2021.
Talaat also pointed to the presidential Decent Life initiative, which targets to improve living standards for around 60 per cent of Egypt’s population. The minister said that the initiative targeted providing broadband Internet access to all Egypt’s villages within the coming three years.
“That will contribute to localising technology in Egypt, providing more jobs, learning, and training opportunities,” Talaat said.
Chair and CEO of the Thales Group, a French multinational company that designs and builds electrical systems and provides services for the aerospace, defence, transportation and security markets, noted that technology is able to improve vital aspects of societies, including countering poverty, fighting climate change, and enhancing sustainable development, especially in the developing countries and Africa, in his presentation in Dubai.
Maria Pace, technology leader for mixed reality at Microsoft HoloLens, said that in the current global circumstances, with accelerating needs for immersive tools such as augmented reality and virtual reality, businesses must invest in technologies in order to stay ahead of the digital curve.
“As the world becomes increasingly digitalised, immersive technology needs to be rapidly integrated into all platforms. By developing pioneering innovations, mixed reality can continue to cater to the need for businesses to strengthen operations worldwide,” she explained.
She added that collaboration and investment were the key to empowering businesses through a transition that will fundamentally alter the way we live, work, and relate to one another.
According to Pace, investment will be key to enabling a breakthrough for the industry.
The speakers asserted the importance of engaging the private sector in telecommunications, ICT, and smart cities projects. Investments there would accelerate efforts to increase the GDP of countries in the Arab world and Africa in particular, they said.
The fourth edition of the GMIS 2021 kicked off on Monday in Dubai under the theme “Rewiring Societies… Repurposing Digitalisation for Prosperity”, and it is scheduled to conclude on 27 November.
Held at the Expo Dubai 2020 Exhibition Centre, it gathers over 250 leaders from government, the private sector, and civil society to explore the leading technological, industrial, and policy trends that will shape the post-pandemic response in the industrial sector and forge a more sustainable future for all.
It is the second time the UAE has hosted the event. The inaugural edition was organised in Abu Dhabi in 2017.
*A version of this article appears in print in the 25 November, 2021 edition of Al-Ahram Weekly.