Egypt embraces new tech in an attempt to future-proof itself
(Words by Edmon Abdel Nur, Technical Editor)
Set to be the hub spot for “Driving Transformation,” Egypt is focused on creating and implementing A.I. technologies in various sectors to improve not only client and business transactions but also network efficiency and security, according to Cairo ICT.
As a member of the UN Government Group of Experts (GGE) on cybersecurity5, a founding member of AfricaCERT7, and ranking 14th in the latest Cybersecurity Global Index of 2017 (CGI), Egypt is on the fast-track to surpass many GCC countries in terms of technology, but not without some challenges along the way.
The challenges faced in the digital space are mainly due to poor infrastructure, high internet prices and lack of people’s confidence in e-transactions, according to Daily News Egypt.
However, as per the Egyptian government, projects are underway to solve these problems, while a shortage of skills is what’s keeping Egypt in cold water. The growth of unskilled cybersecurity workers has already reached 51% (as of 2018), and in time it is only expected to grow further, and so, to counteract this, the government has begun initiatives to educate the younger generation in improving their technology skillsets.
Moreover, during the Mobile World Congress (2019), Egypt signed 32 Memorandum of Understandings (MoU) to kickstart deals in hopes to improve Egypt’s network and AI facilities.
These MoUs were signed by Nokia (HMD), Huawei and Ericson, among others which were not mentioned with the attendance of Amr Talaat, Egypt’s Minister of Telecommunications.
Nokia and Telecom Egypt announced they would build what it claims to be the first cloud infrastructure in Egypt exclusively for the provision of the internet of things (IoT) services. Under the agreement, both companies are collaborating on 5G deployment as well as the evaluation of appropriate use cases of the technology in the Egyptian market, according to marketscreener.
Egypt didn’t stop there. Chinese telecommunications company Huawei signed on to establish systems for cloud computing and artificial intelligence (AI) centres. Huawei will complete the network, which will act as the basis of Egypt’s data industry, by the first quarter of 2020. The company would use the Telecom Egypt’s data centre to establish the $5 million cloud computing network, which would be the first in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), according to Egypt Independent.
Lastly, The House of Representatives approved the definition article of issuing a law regulating the use of non-monetary means of payment.
The definitions included non-cash payment methods, which are all means of payment that result in addition to one of the beneficiary’s bank accounts such as deposit and transfer, and credit and debit cards. Payment are going to take place through mobile phones or other means approved by the governor of the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE). A representative of the government stressed that throughout the preparation stages of the law, a gradual shift towards the generalization of non-monetary payment to avoid any crisis in the market was the target.
Speaker of the House of Representatives Ali Abdel Aal confirmed that this law is the beginning of generalization of non-monetary transactions, pointing out that it might be gradually applied, especially in light of the conditions in Egypt.
These projects and regulations are all towards Egypt’s plans in setting itself as the leading technology hub in the region, and through them, it also hopes to achieve a local and international recognition for being a high-ranking choice for tech startups hoping to begin their business/SME in the country.