Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (Egypt)

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Arab Republic of Egypt
Ministry of Communications
and Information Technology
'MCIT'
MCIT Premises.JPG
MCIT Premises
Agency overview
Formed 1 October 1999; 14 years ago (1999-10-01)
Headquarters Smart Village Egypt
Minister responsible Atef Helmy
Website www.mcit.gov.eg

The Egyptian Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT) is the government body responsible for information and communications technology (ICT) issues in the Arab Republic of Egypt. Established in 1999, MCIT is responsible for the planning, implementation and operation of government plans and strategies related to ICT.

The ministry is led by the minister of communications and information technology, who is nominated by the Prime Minister and is a member of the cabinet. The minister has been Atef Helmy since July 2013.[1][2]

MCIT has its headquarters at Smart Village Egypt which is an ICT and business park. It also hosts other governmental authorities, local and multinational ICT companies, financial authorities and institutions, educational institutions and research and development centers.

Background[edit]

In September 1999, former President Hosni Mubarak announced the inauguration of a national program to develop the information and communication technology sector in Egypt. The goals of the program were to foster the development of an information society in Egypt and stimulate the growth of a strong, competitive, vibrant, export-oriented ICT sector. The cornerstone of this program was the establishment of the ministry of, in October 1999, to lead these efforts.[3]

MCIT, then headed by Ahmed Nazif, soon launched a national plan for communications and information technology, establishing projects and initiatives, including the Egyptian Information Society Initiative (EISI), geared to support and empower public-private partnerships to develop and expand telecommunications infrastructure; provide ICT access to all citizens; develop meaningful Arabic content; establish a large pool of trained ICT professionals to create and innovate; build a policy framework and support infrastructure to foster the growth of a powerful and competitive ICT industry; and leverage ICT to empower development in health, education, government, commerce, culture and other areas.

Vision and Mission[edit]

Egypt’s Ministry of Communications and Information Technology was established to facilitate the country’s assimilation into the global information society. Its mandate is to support the development of the local ICT industry, thereby boosting exports and creating jobs; promote the use of ICT nationwide as a means to achieve national development goals; and build the foundations of a knowledge society in Egypt in close collaboration with other governmental, civil society and private sector entities.[4]

Since its establishment, MCIT, in partnership with other government bodies, non-governmental organizations and the private sector, has worked to develop the foundational infrastructure and framework for an information society in Egypt. Following the conclusion in 2006 of the Egyptian Information Society Initiative, MCIT initiated a strategy covering the period from 2007 to 2010 with the declared objective of further restructuring the sector, developing a knowledge society and supporting the ICT industry with a focus on expanding exports of ICT products and services. According to the 2010 ICT Strategy, the ministry’s main priorities are to:

  • Continue development of state-of-the-art ICT infrastructure that provides an enabling environment for government and businesses throughout Egypt and links it globally
  • Create a vibrant and export-oriented ICT industry
  • Leverage public-private partnerships as an implementation mechanism whenever possible
  • Enable society to absorb and benefit from expanding sources of information
  • Create a learning community whose members have access to all the resources and information they require regardless of gender and location, thereby allowing all to achieve their full potential and play a part in the country’s socioeconomic development
  • Support the development of the skills required by the ICT industry
  • Support research and innovation in ICT

MCIT new 2014- 2018 strategy primarily considers the political and economic changes taking place in Egypt, the development of the communications sector both regionally and internationally and Egypt’s national development priorities.

Ministers[edit]

The ministry, a relatively new entity, was established in October 1999. Ahmed Nazif served as the first minister from 1999 to 2004. His successor, Tarek Kamel, served as minister from July 2004 to February 2011. Magued Osman was appointed then as the minister in the caretaker government from February to July 2011. He was followed by Mohamed Salem holding the position until 2 August 2012, replaced by Hany Mahmoud who was appointed minister on that date. Starting from January 2013, Atef Helmy held the position of the minister.

Initiatives[edit]

MCIT initiatives, and their declared aims, include the following:

  • ICT sector restructuring, including legislative reform to create a market more appealing to local and foreign investment[5]
  • Free Internet: a service launched in January 2002 by Telecom Egypt in partnership with the majority of the country’s Internet service providers eliminating monthly subscription fees for dial-up Internet access, with users required only to pay the price of the local phone call to connect to the network[6]
  • Broadband Initiative: launched in May 2004 to increase the availability of high-speed broadband connections at reduced flat rates and to promote public awareness of the advantages of broadband Internet access over dial-up access
  • Fixed and Mobile Licensing Program: this resulted in a national roaming agreement signed by the three mobile operators (Mobinil, Vodafone Egypt and Etisalat Egypt) and the National Telecommunication Regulatory Authority (NTRA) in June 2007 to provide users with expanded 3G services
  • Launch of the country code top-level domain “.misr
  • Postal sector reform program: launched in 2002 to modernize Egypt Post by improving service, expanding capabilities and developing new revenue streams[7]
  • Enhancement of the framework governing use of ICT networks and services
  • ICT for Development: a group of projects designed to leverage the potential of ICT to help Egypt achieve its human development goals and improve the lives of citizens using public-private partnerships to facilitate the planning, implementation, analysis and dissemination of projects throughout all sectors of the economy, including health, education, culture and government services
  • Promotion of innovation and ICT industry development, including research and development, training, investment and e-business[8]
  • Establishment of technology parks, including Smart Village and Maadi Contact Centers Park
  • Development of mutually beneficial partnerships with governments and agencies, civil society organizations and multilateral organizations around the world to share expertise and explore and develop opportunities

Affiliate Organizations[edit]

National Telecommunication Regulatory Authority (NTRA)
The National Telecommunication Regulatory Authority of Egypt was founded in 2003 according to the Telecommunications Regulation Law as a national authority to administer the telecommunication sector. The scope of the NTRA’s work covers issues related to transparency, open competition, universal service and protection of user rights. The NTRA acts as an independent arbiter for ICT sector stakeholders.

Information Technology Industry Development Agency (ITIDA)
Information Technology Industry Development Agency (ITIDA) was founded in 2004 as an executive IT arm of the Ministry Of Communications and Information Technology. Located in Smart Village, ITIDA is a government entity mandated to boost the development of the Egyptian IT sector and increase its global competitiveness. Affiliated to the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology, ITIDA is tasked with developing the IT industry through identifying the needs of local industry and addressing them with tailored programs. The agency’s responsibilities also include enhancing the Egyptian cybersecurity and data protection framework to facilitate e-business and business process outsourcing (BPO) activities.
Through its Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) Office, ITIDA aims at ensuring effective enforcement of the Copyright Law, fighting piracy and sanctioning infringements in order to guarantee effective protection for computer programs and databases. The IPR Office works to raise awareness and understanding of intellectual property rights in the software community and for the public at large, and cooperates with different bodies concerned with IPR on both the national and international levels. The office also functions as a depository for computer programs and databases, provides licenses for reproducing and translating computer programs and databases for educational purposes, and issues mandatory permission to practice for software enterprises.

Egypt Post
Founded in 1865, the Egyptian National Post Organization (ENPO) is the largest provider of postal services in Egypt, providing services including the delivery of correspondence, documents, money and goods.

Information Technology Institute(ITI)
The Information Technology Institute was founded in 1992 by the Government of Egypt’s Information and Decision Support Center (IDSC) to assist in paving the way for the evolution of a knowledge-based society by developing a new generation of professionals. Prime Minister Dr. Ahmed Nazif transferred the affiliation of ITI to the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology in April 2005. Every year, ITI accepts a limited number of graduates of any discipline for its training program, which offers 14 various specializations.

National Telecommunication Institute (NTI)
The National Telecommunication Institute was founded in 1984 as a scientific institute with university status affiliated to the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology. The institute specializes in training, education and research activities in the field of telecommunications.

Center for Documentation of Cultural and Natural Heritage "CULTNAT"
The Center for Documentation of Cultural and Natural Heritage was established in January 2000 as a project operating under the auspices of the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology. In 2003, CULTNAT become an affiliate of MCIT and Bibliotheca Alexandrina. The center runs an array of projects and programs for the documentation of both the tangible and intangible aspects of Egypt’s cultural and natural heritage, including archaeology, architecture, manuscripts, music, folklore, caricatures, plastic arts and natural resources.

TIEC
The Technology Innovation and Entrepreneurship Center (TIEC) aims to drive innovation and entrepreneurship in ICT for the benefit of national economy. The center has been launched at Smart Village in September 2010.

Related Institutions[edit]

Smart Village Egypt
Egypt’s Smart Village is a business park covering 3 million square meters offering high-tech facilities and infrastructure for IT and telecom companies.

Technology Development Fund
The Technology Development Fund is a venture capital fund established by the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology in 2004 as a public-private partnership to finance and support Egyptian startups in the ICT sector.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Egyptian Cabinet Egyptian Government
  2. ^ "BREAKING: New government swears in". Cairo Post. 17 June 2014. Retrieved 22 June 2014. 
  3. ^ "Egypt Communications". Panda SIM. Retrieved 29 September 2013. 
  4. ^ Ministry Of Communications and Information Technology
  5. ^ MCIT In Ten Years, pp.11-16
  6. ^ Ministry of Communications and Information Technology Yearbook 2002, p. 19
  7. ^ Ministry of Communications and Information Technology Yearbook 2002, p. 40
  8. ^ Ministry of Communications and Information Technology Yearbook 2008, pp. 52-67

External links[edit]