The Information Technology Industry Development Agency (ITIDA) has made efforts in the development of the Egyptian IT industry during 2017. In this report, Daily News Egypt reviews the most prominent of these efforts.
In 2017, ITIDA launched its Time for Egypt campaign, which consolidated Egypt’s position on the global IT services map.
This helped rank Egypt as one of nine main global sites, for the second time in a row, in the field of ICT services exported to the Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, according to a report by Gartner Research company.
In addition, A.T. Kearney tagged Egypt as the world’s best service provider in the Middle East and Africa.
In the field of entrepreneurship support, the Technology Innovation and Entrepreneurship Center (TIEC) announced increasing the in-kind support offered to incubators from EGP 120,000 to EGP 180,000.
TIEC also implemented innovation cluster initiatives and signed a contract with “Etisal” alliance to run the cluster in Borg El Arab, Alexandria. It also inaugurated the cluster in coordination with technological parks in New Assiut, under the name “We Innovate”.
With regard to technological incubators, TIEC also opened the door for registration for three rounds of the business planning workshop StartIT, which resulted in supporting 31 projects at the Smart Village and Assiut incubation centre.
This year saw ten new companies graduate from Smart Village and Assiut incubation centres. Moreover, TIEC hosted 37 projects at the co-working spaces.
With regard to supporting cooperation between ICT companies and the Information Technology Academia Collaboration (ITAC), nine research projects obtained funding worth EGP 5.7m.
ITIDA is currently working on the deployment of electronic signature services and has taken a number of steps in this regard.
Dealing with e-signatures has become among the conditions to register and benefit from a number of services and development programmes available from ITIDA.
Furthermore, ITIDA is currently automating, securing, and encrypting files on smartphones. In the same context, it is studying a number of countries’ experiences, especially European and a number of Gulf countries, such as the United Arab Emirates, in the use of electronic signatures.
In the field of developing the capabilities of micro, small, and medium enterprises, ITIDA and the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) signed an agreement to fund technological companies. The total funding agreed upon amounted to EGP 10bn.
ITIDA is further coordinating wit the National Bank of Egypt (NBE) to design a model to introduce the technological components to banks’ SMEs clients, as well as cooperation with the Egyptian Patent Office and the Egyptian Exchange (EGX) to formulate mechanisms to evaluate the intangible assets of software companies operating in the sector.
As part of its strategy to make Egypt a regional hub in the field of electronic industries and advanced technologies, since they are labour-intensive industries, ITIDA succeeded, through Silicon Waha, to agreements with a number of global electronics manufacturing companies to localise these industries in Egypt.
The first advanced plant in the Middle East and Africa was set up to manufacture smart phones and tablets. ITIDA also financed the establishment of two industrial complexes for the manufacturing of microelectronics in Beni Suef and Sadat City. The project will be completed in April 2018.
Establishment procedures have been initiated for three lab complexes, each containing three integrated labs for the internet of things, smart cities, and manufacturing of multi-layer printed electronic circuits.
In terms of attracting foreign direct investment, ITIDA drew in investors and coordinated with them to export ICT services from Egypt.
The most prominent of these investments came in the field of data centres through Nextfin to create a complex of giant data centres in the technological park inBorg El Arab, next to ITIDA succeeding in signing an agreement to establish four 3D virtual engineering labs with Schneider Electric.