As part of Egypt’s digital transformation, the country is working to digitalise government services and train Egyptian youth in technology and other specialisations to ensure the country has a qualified workforce to meet the shifting demands of employers. The Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT) has sought to create a digital government through the transformation of service administration, the modernisation of IT infrastructure, and the creation of a strong legislative framework that provides governance and data security, while at the same time preserving user rights. The digitalisation of services is expected to enhance bureaucratic efficiency, as well as increase data availability and sharing, which together will result in a better allocation of government resources.
The MCIT is working with other ministries to digitalise all government services. It has implemented ICT solutions for education, health and the judiciary, including massive open online courses, a national cancer registry and a unified portal for the Ministry of Justice, respectively.
The government is also partnering with international firms to facilitate the transformation. In November 2019 the Ministry of Public Enterprise Sector announced that software solutions provider SAP and Microsoft had won the tender – the largest of its kind in the Middle East – to implement the digital transformation of 60 state-owned firms and holding companies. The programme will cover enterprise resource planning related to finance, human resources, sales, purchases, warehousing and production. The collaboration is expected to standardise, improve and automate the companies’ operations to improve efficiency. The work on the shift began the following month and is expected to be completed by June 2021.
Efforts to digitalise state services extend beyond the national level and into the governorates. In July 2019 a pilot programme was launched in Port Said to digitalise 170 government services, and by October of that year the transition had been completed for 34 services. Through the LE8bn ($493m) programme 800 service sites and a government building have been linked to fibre-optic networks. The authorities expect to expand the pilot to the rest of the country, linking 33,000 facilities in all 27 governorates with fibre optics by June 2021.
In the first step towards national digitalisation, in January 2020 the MCIT announced that the programme would be extended to seven governorates: Behira, Aswan, Kafr Al Sheikh, Alexandria, Menofeya, Dakaleya and Qalyubeya. The MCIT is working with state-owned Telecom Egypt to link government buildings via fibre optics to a secure and unified platform. Included in the services to be digitalised will be those related to health, real estate, traffic, notaries and education.
In May 2020 Amr Talaat, the minister of communications and information technology, and Ahmed El Sobky, the head of the General Health Care Authority, announced the two bodies would create a framework to support the digitalisation of the authority’s operations. Streamlining health services and efforts to make care more accessible is an important step forward, especially in light of the Covid-19 pandemic that has strained health care systems across the globe. As of June 2, 2020, Egypt had 26,384 confirmed cases and 1005 deaths.
The MCIT has created a broadbased curriculum including courses on communications, software development, process improvement and e-learning to help its workforce become better equipped for a digitalised economy. Supporting these efforts is the Information Technology Industry Development Agency, which launched an 18-month scholarship in late May 2020 for 100,000 youth in web development, data analytics and digital marketing.
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