Egypt to spend over $2bln to enhance internet efficiency, says minister

The project includes delivery of fiber optic cables to around 4,500 villages in the next three years

  
A person types on a laptop computer in Manhattan, New York City, U.S., September 11, 2020. Image used for illustrative purpose.

A person types on a laptop computer in Manhattan, New York City, U.S., September 11, 2020. Image used for illustrative purpose.

REUTERS/Andrew Kelly
RIYADH: Egypt has started work on the third phase of its plan to enhance the efficiency of internet services in the country with up to $2 billion investment, Amr Talaat, minister of communications and IT, told Asharq.

The project includes delivery of fiber optic cables to around 4,500 villages in the next three years, he said. Talaat said once completed the project will benefit 58 million Egyptians with high-speed internet services.

As part of the country’s “Decent Life” initiative, the minister said, more than 1,500 mobile stations have been built in different villages during 2021 and in the coming year the number of communication towers will be doubled in different parts of the country.

Last year, new frequency spectrums were allocated with investments of $1.17 billion, which will soon become operational, Talaat said.

The Egyptian minister told Asharq that Egypt was working on building a technology city in its new administrative capital. The first phase will be constructed with investments amounting to 3.5 billion Egyptian pounds, while the second phase will see even more investment, he added.

Talaat said as part of “Digital Egypt” initiative, several projects will be launched in 2022 to ensure smooth digital transformation of the country. He said the government seeks to enhance the contribution of the ICT sector to the gross domestic product to reach 8 percent by 2024.

Citing a recent industry report, he said in the coming days Egypt will present 25 percent of the total growth opportunities in the Middle East.

The minister also highlighted the country’s postal authority’s development plan. “Before the end of the year we will finish developing more than 3,100 offices at a cost of 3.5 billion pounds,” to provide quality services such as digital wallets, electronic payments, financing and micro-lending, to achieve financial inclusion and enhance fintech in Egypt, he said.

Talaat said Egypt is a leading country in terms of the ability to provide outsourcing services. There are more than 85,000 people in Egypt providing these services to more than 100 countries in 20 different languages, he said.

Egypt holds a market share of about 17 percent of the outsourcing sector worldwide, he said.

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