The Egyptian government intends to prioritise investments in the ICT sector to transform the country to a global ICT services hub and increase the sector’s contribution to economic development.
Egypt ICT Minister Atef Helmy said the country has developed an ICT Strategy in which it hopes to attract investments in the excess of $18 billion over the next six years.
The investments will be both from the government and the private sector and are intended to catapult growth of the ICT sector from the current eight per cent to 19 per cent while its contribution to the gross domestic product is expected to increase from four per cent to seven per cent by 2020.
“By 2020, around 30 billion Egyptian pounds ($18.5 billion) will be needed to develop the ICT infrastructures. The investment of the government will not exceed 15 per cent as the projects will mainly rely on the investments of the private companies,” he said.
According to Egypt’s ICT Strategy 2020, the ambition is to have the ICT sector create a total of one million jobs by 2020, including 200,000 direct job opportunities.
This will be achieved by creating a digital society allowing Egyptian citizen to use IT services and maintaining communications growth by attracting global companies, in addition to benefiting from the geographical location of Egypt and maritime cables in Suez Canal.
“This makes Egypt a global hub of internet services within the framework of Suez Canal national project, qualifying the country to become an attraction area for global investments,” states the strategy.
As part of efforts to drive growth of the ICT sector, the government is investing $426 million to build the Maadi Technology Park for ICT services.
The park is intended to position Egypt on the global map of ICT services in addition to providing 40,000 direct job opportunities and 100,000 indirect job opportunities when completed.