When Egypt’s information and communications technology (ICT) sector was established, it did not take long to make an impression. This success has continued unabated. Increasingly present in all forms of human activity, ICT turned shortly to be fundamental to the progress of society.
Governments around the world are becoming increasingly aware of the strategic value of ICT in economic development. The Government of Egypt (GoE) recognizes the ICT sector as a critical component of the national economy, not only due to its substantial contribution to employment, exports and diversification of the economy, but for its dynamic and innovative potential, and its broader role in providing enabling technologies, products and services that underpin the development of Egypt as a knowledge economy in the global market.
In Egypt, over the past years, the achievements of this sector have come to be felt in all spheres of life as network infrastructure and the use of ICT tools have spread. Egypt’s ICT sector is now a principal component of the national economy, a key driver of development, and a catalyst for greater efficiency and performance across sectors.
Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT) together with it's Affiliate Organizations have supported and encouraged this progress. MCIT’s establishment, through a variety of channels, of solid nationwide telecommunications infrastructure paved the way for the development of a number of vital sectors – among them education, health, research and development, and entrepreneurship – and has contributed in no small way to improving the climate for investment.
As Egyptians increasingly apply ICT tools in all areas of life they are effectively forging a digital society – to the benefit of individuals, business and society at large. In support of this, MCIT is firmly focused on developing ICT skill levels, both to empower more people through entry to the information society and to ensure a steady supply of human resources with the ICT skills required in the ICT sector and elsewhere.
Technology has become a tool for change in a way that not long ago would have been hard to imagine. Around the world, people are using technology to communicate with each other, interact with their governments, and monitor and promote development and reform. The global information society, where traditional borders have been reinvented, allows people in disparate communities to establish links, boosting mutual understanding as they share values and aspirations.
In Egypt, ICTs provided the impetus for the 25 January Revolution, and around the world they have changed how government policies are formed and economies are run. The “communications revolution” once proclaimed by academics and ICT specialists is now a reality. In Egypt, moreover, it has given rise to a pioneering social movement that uses information and communications tools to promote democracy and good governance.
In Egypt’s revolution, social networks such as Facebook and Twitter offered an important platform to a wide base of citizens, allowing them to participate in community dialogue based on equity and transparency. MCIT is working to support this trend and to promote democracy, just as it has always worked for the development of Egyptian society.
I see the coming period the start of a new era for ICT in Egypt. We have witnessed the rise of a generation of Egyptians able to use information and communications technologies to express their hopes and instigate change. With the opportunity to shape the future of their country I believe more Egyptians will join the information society, boosting efforts to build a dynamic, knowledge-based economy.
For my part, I am honored to have been entrusted with the mission of heading MCIT at this crucial juncture in Egypt’s history. In this capacity I hope to play an active and effective role in building and developing the national ICT sector and, in so doing, contribute to the development of the country as a whole.
Minister of Telecommunication and Information Technology