The E-Signature Law; issued in 2004 and established the Information Technology Industry Development Agency (ITIDA), regulates “e-signature” to support Egypt’s e-commerce industry by securing the Internet as a legally viable medium for online financial activities. Simply put, this means availing IT tools and applications in using “e-signature” while laying the groundwork of digital transformation.
Electronic signature creates a range of opportunities:
- improve the efficiency of administration work (or administrative processes),
- level up the performance of governmental services,
- keep pace with the rhythm of the times we live in,
- broaden Egypt’s potentials, and
- increase the country’s competiveness on a global scale.
On 11 July 2006, ITIDA issued 4 Licenses to practice the activity of e-signature services for the following companies: SNS, MCDR, Egypt Trust and ACT. The latter company did not complete the procedures to get its license. On 28 September 2009, ITIDA issued the license for the
Ministry of Finance to offer the e-signature services for the government personnel.
A Board’s decision stated the annulment of SNS’ license on 17 June 2019.
22 June 2021: ITIDA awarded new licenses to Fixed Misr and El Delta Electronic Systems to fast-track digital signature adoption across Egypt.
Now, there are 4 companies offering the service in Egypt in addition to the Government Electronic Certification Authority (Gov-CA), of Ministry of Finance, offering e-signature services inside and across government entities.
The E-Signature Licensing Department is set up to audit the E-Signature service providers companies in Egypt, address complaints, offer technical counseling in collaboration with the Root CA panel, and mediate between disputing parties, forming part of the ICT Industry ombudsman within ITIDA framework
The E-Signature Licensing Department licenses a limited number of E-Signature Service Providers (CSPs) in Egypt, in order to provide e-signature services, issue digital certificates and corresponding electronic signatures, for citizens and public/private sector companies’ clients. Licensing Department’s main functions include managing the application process of CSPs, and implementing processes for licensing and auditing the providers.
E-Signature Licensing Department Activities:
- Regulating the activity of e-signature services.
- Issuing and renewal of licenses in the activities of an e- signature, and other activities in the field of electronic transactions, and the information technology industry.
Periodically audit e-signature service providers, including the branches of these companies, to ensure their compliance with the terms of licenses granted and the standards set by the Agency.
- Define technical standards and technical resources to provide an electronic signature.
- Maximizing the use of e-business applications.
- Spreading the culture of e-signature technology locally and regionally.
- Receiving complaints concerning the activities of the electronic signature and electronic transactions and information technology, and take necessary in that.
- Provide technical advice on disputes that arise between the parties concerning the activities of the electronic signature and electronic transactions and information technology.
- Exhibitions, conferences and specialized seminars in the field of information technology and communications both internally and externally.
List of licensed companies with contact information:
In addition to the Government Electronic Certification Authority (Gov-CA), based in the Ministry of Finance towers, Nasr City, Cairo, there is a list of these licensed companies:
As one of its primary roles, ITIDA operates the Egyptian Root Certificate Authority (Root CA) according to the highest security standards offering a continuous 24/7 operation (based on the means of a second hot-standby Trust Center).
The national Root CA is the trust anchor for all relying parties within that domain. Furthermore, the national Root CA is the legal and national base upon which all IT applications, E-commerce and E-business Transactions will be affected. It also provides cross recognition across Egypt and to other Root CAs in different nations.
The national Root CA key functions:
- Issues digital certificates for licensed certificate service providers and publish them to be available 24/7.
- Helps to prove or deny the validity of digital certificates of the licensed Certificate authorities.
- Root CA has the rights to stop the operation of any CA in case of security deficiencies.
- Managing the CRL containing revoked CSPs certificates.
- Working as TSA (Time Stamping Authority) for CSPs.
- Backing up E-Signature creation data of Certificate Service Provider to maintain the availability of the service in case of Failure or Bankruptcy of one of the CSP’s.
- Responsible for interoperability between other countries providing a point of communication between Egypt and other nations in relations of E-signature.
- Auditing all the PKI technical requirements of CSP’s against the Egyptian executive directives and all the updated international standards.
- Offers technical consultations to all the community in the field of Information Security especially in Public key Infrastructure.
Advances in information technology offer unprecedented opportunities as well as new challenges for governments and private firms. eSignature is playing an increasingly important role in securing information, protecting data and maintaining its confidentiality.
The Egyptian e-Signature Competency Center, ESCC, is the first of its kind in the MENA region that provides e-signature infrastructure services and applications for a variety of operating systems. ESCC integrates client-side software with Public Key Infrastructure, PKI, and protects information security systems.
The services offered by our e-signature center makes a quantum leap in the performance of the government and business sectors. It also provides a solid foundation for the major shifts in how these sectors deal with customers. The center creates a vital impact on the lives of our citizens through fully paperless services and mass adoption of the digital signature.
We firmly believe that our employees are the most valuable asset in providing services committed to global standards. Our staff obtained top international certificates in this expertise. The competitiveness of ECSS is mainly attributed to our professionals who are highly skilled in providing advisory and design services, implementing PKI structure for government and private sectors, protecting security management systems, training and technical support. For more info, please visit: