“Information from Ministers” organizes the sixth workshop of “Expert Dialogue” on the telecommunications sector

The Information and Decision Support Center in the Council of Ministers continues to hold community dialogue sessions on the “State Ownership Policy” document, which coincides with the government’s presentation of the document for social dialogue, which ushers in a new phase for the Egyptian economy in the coming period, and comes as a continuation of the reforms adopted by the state within the framework of private sector support.

In this context, the Information Center today, Tuesday, 28 June, held the sixth workshop within the framework of the “Expert Dialogue” with an extensive session dedicated to discussing the communication and information technology sector, in the presence and wide representation of representatives of the private sector in this sector, in addition to representatives of the relevant state bodies and companies in the public sector, in addition to the participation of a number of university professors, experts and specialists.

At the beginning of today’s session, Mr. Osama El-Gohary, Assistant to the Prime Minister and Head of the Center, reviews the main axes of the document and its objectives, and the key mechanisms and standards relied on during the stages. of its preparation, in addition to the clarification of the most important economic sectors that will observe the state’s retention of its role in it or its exit from it during the course of its preparation The next three years, in addition to shedding light on the role of the Sovereign Fund of Egypt in this context, and public-private partnerships as a mechanism for further strengthening the role of the private sector, as well as the principles governing the state’s presence in economic activities, and welcomes all opinions and proposals contained in the document because the objective This is the agreement on the final form of the document before it is issued.

The session included a presentation of the key axes of the state ownership policy document in the telecommunications and information technology sector, the general characteristics of this sector and its economic contribution, including a map of the state’s presence or exit at the level of activities in this sector. sector and a detailed explanation of the sub-activities of this sector and which activities will see an exit within 3 years or more. Stick with fixing or reducing shapes, or stick with fixing or multiplying shapes.

This session, led by dr. Ahmed Darwish, the former Minister of Administrative Development, moderated, witnessed a number of important and rich interventions and comments from the audience, from experts and specialists, highlighting the importance of maintaining the state’s role in the communication and information technology sector due to the importance and sensitivity of the role of this sector, and that entry into the sector The private sector in this sector is in line with specific and clear controls with the state’s commitment to competitive neutrality, with demands for more exits in various activities in the communications and information technology sector.

In the same context, the participants appreciated the recent initiatives of the Council of Ministers to regulate the market and ensure competitive neutrality, within the framework of the plan adopted by the state to introduce a new phase of structural reforms in various sectors completed, and the document priced. and sees it as an important step towards supporting the participation of the state’s private sector in the comprehensive digital transformation that is currently being implemented, and the participants also made suggestions to the mechanisms and map of the presence and exit of the state at the level to reconsider. of activities in the ICT sector, and to add “cyber security” to the map of the state’s presence and exit at the level of activities in this sector, with the state providing more facilities for small companies wishing to enter this sector .

At the beginning of his speech, dr. Ahmed Darwish, the former Minister of Administrative Development, explains that the introduction of the state ownership policy document is an important step for the state towards one of the most important principles of governance. This is to listen and consult stakeholders before taking steps towards a specific direction in its policy. In turn, Engineer Asma Hosni, former head of the Information Technology Industry Development Authority (ITIDA), indicated that the state ownership policy document an opportunity for state-owned companies in the telecommunications sector to graduate from the mantle of government work to The mantle of the private sector on a global level and that a company like Telecom Egypt has the opportunity to do so.

Engineer Hisham Al-Alayli, former chief executive of the National Telecommunications Regulatory Authority, added that Egypt is a global center for submarine cables; Therefore, we can make a special law that attracts incentives for large entities for data centers, to maintain the international center in this area, to praise the effort made in the preparation of this document, and an appeal to real encouragement for both domestic and foreign investors in this vital and important sector, while Mr. Ayman Essam, head of Vodafone’s foreign and legal sector, that the state should maintain its investments in terrestrial communications while stabilizing the size of these investments, without failing to strike a balance through the incentives offered to all telecommunications companies , while also providing fiber services to private companies.

In a related context, Mr. Essam Wehbe, Vice President of Etisal Association, indicated that we are waiting for the state to establish a clear classification of the size and activity of software companies and programmers; To identify the opportunities of the private sector in this activity, ask for the addition of systems to the activities of software and computer consulting, while Eng. Walid Gad, former head of the Communications and Information Technology Chamber of the Federation of Industries, explained that we are looking forward to the state ownership policy document that will help us solve some of the sector’s problems such as: Monitoring the needs of the labor market in the sector, and coordination with the state to feed the market with the frameworks it needs to advance the sector.

Meanwhile, engineer Mohamed Amin, industrial ambassador of the Association of Electrical and Electronic Engineers in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, called on the state to maintain its investments in Telecom Egypt, and at the same time work to make better use of the company’s assets and headquarters spread throughout the Republic, and praised the effort made this The document, which calls for the ICT sector and the Egyptian state in general to play an important role in the Fourth Industrial Revolution. For her part, Dr. Hoda Baraka, Adviser to the Minister of Communications for the Development of Technological Skills, explains that we need to add a clear and specific classification to the activities of cyber security service companies; Because it is an important sector, and it is growing significantly, and providing its services to the state and the private sector; While the state maintains its investments in this activity, while the activities of “publishing – radio and television broadcasting – information services – publishing and production of television and video programs and films” are merged into one activity.

Engineer Mirna Aref, General Manager of Microsoft Egypt, during the workshop drew attention to the importance of the state ownership policy document, emphasizing that it is a step towards supporting the state’s private sector participation in the comprehensive digital transformation that currently implemented, through the digitization of all public services, while the engineer pointed out Ahmed El-Sobky, a member of the Board of Directors of the Chamber of Information and Communication Technology Industry, indicated that the state does not 100% of the sector need to leave, but it must separate ownership from management, according to what is stated in the state ownership policy document, and we are waiting to identify the steps for retirement within the 3 years specified in the document, Eng. Shaheer Bushra, a member of the Etisal Board of Directors, explained that we support the orientation of the state ownership policy document, to support the competitiveness of the ICT sector, and we largely agree with the role of the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority through this of to separate the Ministry of Communications; To ensure competitive neutrality.

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