Home Global-ICTGlobal-ICT 2014 ICT innovation and entrepreneurship: The institutional development of Egypt

ICT innovation and entrepreneurship: The institutional development of Egypt

by Administrator
H.E. Eng. Atef HelmyIssue:Global-ICT 2014
Article no.:1
Topic:ICT innovation and entrepreneurship:
The institutional development of Egypt
Author:H.E. Eng. Atef Helmy
Title:Minister of Communications & Information Technology
PDF size:389KB

About author

Atef Helmy, Minister of Communications and Information Technology, Egypt

In January 2013, Eng. Atef Helmy assumed responsibility as Egypt’s Minister of Communications and Information Technology.

Eng. Helmy is responsible for Egypt’s transformation into the global digital economy, as envisioned in the National ICT Strategy 2013-2020. He is spearheading several national mega initiatives to achieve his goal, namely; creating the necessary infrastructure to make Egypt the Internet digital hub of the Region, developing a national integrated digital platform to contribute to ongoing socio-economic development & social equity efforts, and supporting the ICT industry & attracting FDI.
Major sound countrywide projects such as the Broadband Initiative, Digital Dividend, Unified Telecom License, and IT support for Egypt’s path towards a democratic process are currently underway due to bold strategic orchestration and forward thinking. Many of such projects are conducted utilizing the public-private-partnership model.

Known to be an avid enthusiast of youth and believing in their untapped potential, Eng. Helmy works tirelessly to create a savvy generation competent in leading the ICT industry in the Region. Since appointed Minister he has led several endeavors related to capacity building and job creation; and likewise he strongly encourages innovation and entrepreneurship efforts of young startups. Prior to becoming Minister his contribution was instrumental in launching a professional training initiative to train more than 5000 engineering and computer science students enabling them to become active participants in the regional market. Similarly, in 2005, he launched in Cairo one of Oracle’s largest global support centres which later became a trusted reference in portraying Egypt as one of the top destinations in outsourcing and off-shoring.
Eng. Helmy’s social responsibility efforts have already achieved tangible progress in reaching & serving rural and marginal areas through the spreading of technology. He has great passion for empowering people with disabilities through ICTs and addressing their challenges on a national level. Known to have solid views on issues related to Big Dataand ICTs for development of emerging markets & developing nations, he has shared his insights and positions in local and international fora.

With more than 30 years of solid experience in information technology, Eng. Helmy lead numerous executive management positions in two of the top Fortune 100 multinationals; namely NCR and Oracle in the United States of America, Europe, Middle East and Africa.
For ten years Eng. Helmy honorably served in the Egyptian Military Forces in the field of communications and information technology. Helmy holds a B.Sc. in Electrical Engineering (Distinction with Honor) from the Military Technical College in 1973, a Diploma in Computer Science from Ain Shams University in 1979, and a Master’s degree in IT from Ain Shams University in 1982.

As Minister of CIT, Eng. Helmy chairs the Boards of the National Telecommunications Regulatory Authority the Information Technology Industry Development Agency and the National Telecommunication Institute. He also chairs the Board of Trustees of the Information Technology Institute and the Technology

Article abstract

In government and public organizations we aim to capitalize on intelligence offered by big-data for better functioning-actionable intelligence. Planning, of course, tops the list; specifically in budgeting. Also administrative planning, strategic operational decisions and general decision making.

Full Article

In our ICT community we have been witnessing first-hand the shift from the information age into the intelligent age. And very true in today’s daily routine more than before valuable data is available at our disposal. Surely, we all know that the power locked in data can be easily harnessed to improve productivity, business performance and with great promise profitability.

IT conglomerates today embark on mega investments in big data; and nations are thinking likewise on the public/government level for great hopes are placed on knowledge derived from this new industry, namely, ‘actionable intelligence’. Governments strive to transform policy development and work flow in the public sector to improve transparency and accountability, enhancing the efficiency of buying and managing government goods and services.

If we agree to the big-data promise, specifically, “intelligence”, then corporates should work on fundamentally revamping their operational mechanisms to become more powerful. Meaning manage, shape and use “big data” high-powered digital tools to accelerate and boost business targets.

In Egypt successful endeavors are underway to complete the necessary infrastructure to create and soon launch Egypt’s public cloud. We strongly believe the data revolution can play an effective role in solving critical challenges. Our National ICT Strategy 2020 positions data as a core pillar.
The Global Resource
So what is the readiness level of human resources available to take this industry/business further to serve the demands of the future? In my humble opinion, the skills required for the flourishing of this industry remain scarce.

It is still a challenge for corporations to employ and retain specialized positions with individuals who are experts in their subject-area, possess strong analytic and creative skills, and equally have an in-depth understanding of database technology to create monetized intelligence, optimize performance and maximize revenue. Attracting the right talent mix is key.

Building a complete ecosystem comes first. It is necessary to give a message of confidence to the budding generation we expect to be the workforce addressing Big Dataindustry needs. There is a pressing need to aid organizations to reshape their operations & change work cultures and incentive schemes towards a more data-driven decision-making one.

Academia and the corporate world must seize the opportunity and create a sustainable global pool of talent that looks to the needs of the future. Here I would stress that global knowledge collaboration is necessary in this regard; since the science of this field is very dynamic and develops at an exponential speed and for sure its impact is inclusive.

Big Data Supports Industry and vice versa

In government and public organizations we aim to capitalize on intelligence offered by big-data for better functioning-actionable intelligence. Planning, of course, tops the list; specifically in budgeting. Also administrative planning, strategic operational decisions and general decision making.

We’ve seen successful organizations, being government or corporate or non-profit have demonstrated improved performance due to increased use on data in collaborative working environments. Local governments specifically is a venue where we foresee Big Data can better deliver the essential services and address critical issues as they arise.

Looking at the field of healthcare, certainly, with more confidence, we see today healthcare organizations and scientists able to perform analyses of clinical situations, foresee trends, and build on outcomes due to rapid technological advancements in the medical field and their successful management of data aggregated from diverse sources to generate effective clinical decision support.

Correspondingly, experimenting with diverse smart transportation systems is currently a project well underway in many cities around the World. The aim varies from improve traffic flow to enhance road safety to be able to detect congestion, to analyze traffic patterns and become better alerted towards emergencies and unforeseen situations, to reduce pollution and maintain public security.

Similarly, corporate and business operations look at intelligent transport systems and data available to serve purposes related to detecting weather conditions, optimized routing, real-time tracking, and fuel consumption. In our excellent ICT centres in Egypt, we conduct research with focused-consideration on the growing capacities and scale.

Rights Respected
Clearly, the convergence and integration of cloud, social collaboration, information and mobile that we’re witnessing is propitious to the ICT industry as a direct developer and as a beneficiary.

Today, many organizations handle vast volumes of data. They know that utilizing technology to unlock the power of data is the key. The wealth of knowledge they possess, due to handling and transforming data into insights, will help them address complex strategic and operational challenges – and in many cases, to gain competitive advantage.

In the end, we aim that new industries such as big-data take us faster into the digital economy and truly assist us in our local as well as global challenges as we progress in our growth aspirations.

Embracing the increasingly ubiquitous data requires respecting privacy too. Let me be clear, nothing we do should be at the expense of fundamental rights. We need firm and modern data protection regulations that safeguards this fundamental right. And we need the right tools to help people take control of their data and further develop their trust in the technology. And I will conclude that the right legal framework, and global collaboration in place are the key components.


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