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Information tech to double growth rate by 2020: Ministry of Communications

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Ministry announces three initiatives to improve Egypt’s digital economy

The information and communication technology sector is on track to nearly double its growth rate in the next six years, boosting expansion from 10% in fiscal year (FY) 2013/2014 to 17% in fiscal year 2019/2020, according to a May report from the Ministry of Communications.

During this time period, the broadband penetration in Egyptian households is expected to rise from 13% to 50%.

Information and communication technology service exports are expected to surge from EGP 11bn in FY 2013/2014 to EGP 23bn in FY 2019/2020. The ministry predicted GDP from the information technology sector to grow from the current EGP 60bn to EGP 150bn.

The size of the electronics industry is also expected to jump from EGP 14bn to reach EGP 70bn, according to the report.

Improving Egypt’s digital economy will increase productivity, enhance transparency, fight corruption, decrease time-to-service, improve national security and contribute to the national gross domestic product (GDP), the ministry reported. In an effort to promote these developments, the ministry announced three projects.

The first project, called the Digital Society Project, aims to offer e-services to the public through different technological ports and devices to create an integrated services platform for government entities.

The first phase of the project is expected to be completed in 2017 for the price tag of EGP 17bn, 20% of which will be provided by the government, the ministry reported. The government will fund 10% of the project’s second phase, which is forecasted to wrap up at EGP 28bn in 2020.

Initiatives designed to streamline notarization, real estate registration and national health insurance. The details for the programs, estimated to cost about EGP 3.2bn, will be announced later this year.

The second project, called the Industry Development Project, was designed to support the information and communication technology industry through “innovation and entrepreneurship”, and by “attracting direct investments and creating job opportunities”, according to the report.

It includes a plan to build technology parks in Maadi, Assuit, Burg Al-Arab City, Beni Suef, and Al-Sadat City. The parks will require an initial EGP 24bn investment.  The project also includes measures to encourage innovation, for an estimated EGP 3bn, and promote electronic design and manufacturing, for the price of about EGP 8.6bn.

The final project, called the Digital Hub Project, will initially require EGP 13bn to help build large data centers, utilising submarine cables, and create a technology valley in Ismailia.

The investment needed in all three main projects is expected to increase by 2020.


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