Nearly a year and half after the start of his presidency, President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi honoured the communications and information technology (ICT) sector with the Cairo ICT 2015 exhibition and conference, where he launched a number of initiatives and projects.
The aim of the conference was to bring about a structural transformation within the sector by manufacturing mobile devices domestically and increasing the domestic component of the manufacturing process.
The sector witnessed positive results over the past six months in implementing the president’s initiative to build technological zones.
The initiative is to establish six technological zones in Borg El-Arab, Aswan, Assiut, Beni Suef, Sadat City, and 10th of Ramadan City, in addition to reviving the technology valley in the Suez Canal Economic Zone.
The ministry has already begun establishing zones in Assiut and Borg El-Arab and expects to be finished by the end of 2016.
Construction of the third zone in 10th of Ramadan City will begin by the end of 2016, said Yasser El-Qadi, the minister of communications and information technology.
The Silicon Oasis Company will manage the ongoing construction of the technological zones. The zones are expected to provide nearly 500,000 direct and indirect job opportunities.
The second initiative launched by Al-Sisi was put into action quickly by the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology in cooperation with private sector companies.
The company Sico Technology presented a vision for mobile devices to be manufactured in Egypt to the minister of communications and information technology. The minster commissioned a team from the ministry to follow up with the construction plans of the electronics factory with Sico Technology.
As a result, the company signed an agreement with the China Megan Group concerning the manufacturing of mobile phones and tablets.
$120m is being invested in the factory, with both parties contributing half that amount, according to Mohamed Salem, the chairperson of Sico Technology.
3,000 metres of land were assigned in the Borg Al-Arab technological zone for the establishment of this factory. The factory is planned to start manufacturing by 2017, with two production lines and a packaging line. The production capacity is expected to be 6,000 units of equipment per day and is planned to increase to 12,000 units of equipment per day within one year.
The company is currently negotiating with two other Chinese companies to manufacture their products in Egypt to facilitate their expansion plans in Africa and the Middle East.
El-Qadi witnessed signing screens manufacturing agreement between El Araby Group and the Chinese TCL Corporation.
An initiative titled “Egypt’s Future”, which supports electronic system companies and the electronic industry’s design and services, targets to increase the industry’s revenue to $3bn annually within three years.
At a time when the ministry has succeeded in steadily implementing the president’s initiatives for electronic manufacturing and increased technological zones, the ministry could not take steps towards providing 4G licences to mobile operators or to provide a mobile licence to Telecom Egypt (TE). This project was included in the government’s economic plan. The selling of the licences is expected to result in revenues estimated at $2bn.
Mobile companies voted positively for the 4G licences through the ministry’s surveys and the three mobile operators agreed on it; however the service’s launch has not yet been determined.