Minister of Communications and Information Technology Yasser El Kady witnessed the signing of a number of agreements between Silicon Waha, the company in charge of establishing and developing technology zones, and China’s electronics company ZTE and Transsion, which manufactures the Tecno and Itel mobile phones, during the 20th edition of the Cairo International Conference (CIC) on Information and Communication Technology (ICT) 2016.
The minister also witnessed the signing of a cooperation agreement between Silicon Waha and the Chinese company Megan on Sunday. The Chinese company will produce and develop mobile phones and tablets, as well as automatic vehicle location devices.
Ahmed El-Sobky, chairperson of the board of directors at Silicon Waha, told Daily News Egypt that the agreements with ZTE and Transsion, as well as Huawei and Megan, are taking steps on the path towards producing electronics locally. “In a short period, we concluded deals with four of the most important phones and electronics manufacturers in Egypt to produce their goods locally,” he said, adding that a fifth company has requested to build a factory in Egypt.
Factories belonging to Huawei, ZTE, and Transsion will be built in the technological park in Borg El-Arab, while Megan will build its factory in the technology park in Assiut. According to El-Sobky, part of the locally-manufactured electronics will be put on the market to meet domestic needs and reduce imports, which would ease pressure on hard cash, while the rest will be channelled to exports in order to increase Egypt’s US dollar resources.
The agreement stipulates ZTE will produce ADSL routers and modems. The factory plans to produce one million devices in its first year of operation, and aims to ensure that 60% of its components are produced locally within 18 months of operation.
A Transsion factory will be established on an area of 5,000 sqm to produce mobile phones, tablets, LED lighting products, and consumer electronics, with plans to open a centre for research and development and another for software development in Egypt.
These agreements are part of the strategic partnership between Egypt and China in several sectors, including the ICT sector. This is also an implementation of the national strategy adopted by the state to localise the electronics industry. The strategy aims to make Egypt a regional hub for the design and manufacture of electronics.
This is in line with a presidential initiative to settle the electronics industry. MCIT has penned a plan to boost the size of Egypt’s electronics industry to $10bn. In the first phase, the initiative aims to increase export capabilities for companies operating in the field of electronics to $5bn, providing 25,000 jobs for youth, increasing the number of manufacturing companies of semiconductor chips and electronic systems to over 50 companies, and attracting foreign direct investment from companies working on designing electronic products and electronics manufacturers in order to create large factories in Egypt capable of supporting this trend.