The Information Technology Industry Development Agency (ITIDA) took part in Collaboration and Engagement Day, organized by the Egyptian Information Telecommunications Electronics and Software Alliance (EiTESAL). The event comes in light of "Industry Engagement," a newly-launched program through which EiTESAL organizes a train of events all year long. The Alliance seeks to enhance cooperation and networking opportunities among the local IT companies.
Collaboration and Engagement Day was held under the auspices and attendance of H.E. Dr. Amr Talaat, Minister of Communications and Information Technology. Eng. Ahmed Elzaher, CEO of ITIDA, Eng. Hossam Megahed, President of EiTESAL, and representatives of 225 local ICT companies participated in the event.
Dr. Ahmed Darwish, former Minister of Administrative Development, Dr. Ahmed Tantawi, Head of the Applied Innovation Center (AIC), and Dr. Hesham Dinana, assistant professor of integrated marketing communications (IMC) at The American University in Cairo (AUC), were among the keynote speakers.
EiTESAL's program aims to support collaboration and matchmaking opportunities between Egyptian ICT small and medium-sized (SMEs) to create larger entities capable of competing and overcoming economic challenges. The program also aims to implement alternative growth strategies and increase the competitiveness of Egyptian ICT exports.
During his speech at the "Collaboration and Engagement Day", Eng. Ahmed Elzaher, CEO of ITIDA, outlined the role played by ITIDA to drive IT growth in Egypt through 3 strategic pillars, namely; local talent and companies development, FDI attraction and support, and technology innovation and entrepreneurship. Elzaher pointed out that ITIDA is implementing a set of programs and initiatives primarily meet the ICT industry needs within its strategy framework.
He added that the majority of ITIDA programs strive to enhance the local ICT companies competitiveness, especially SMEs, and increase opportunities for exporting ICT services and products.
Elzaher stressed that the abundance of technical skills is key to the sector growth, as the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT) and all its affiliates are keen to implement a number of programs geared towards empowering Egyptian youth and companies with various technology and digital skills. The aim is to meet the increasing demand from global and local companies.
ITIDA CEO urged Egyptian IT companies to benefit from the technically qualified talent of the Future Work is Digital (EgFWD 2.0) initiative, specialized in many tech areas such as cloud computing, embedded software, machine learning, data analysis, and cybersecurity. Elzaher noted that graduates of the EgFWD 2.0 reached nearly 50K professionals. He added that EgFWD 2.0 was formulated to serve the thriving freelancing sector in Egypt as well as help local and international IT companies get easy access to tech skills.
Additionally, ITIDA's CEO encouraged local ICT companies to benefit from Software Engineering Competence Center (SECC) programs, designed to enhance the quality, efficiency, and level of innovation of ICT companies. The Center is established to improve their global competitiveness and boost development of the software industry by offering training, assessment, consultation, and certification services.
Moreover, Elzaher confirmed that ITIDA Export IT program mainly encourages local ICT companies, especially MSMEs to increase their exports, remarking that during the previous 12 rounds of the program, ITIDA disbursed export incentives amounting to EGP550 million for over 250 local companies.
ITIDA CEO added that more than 170 Egyptian companies have applied for the 13th round of Export IT, with an increase of 17% in the number of applicants compared to the previous round. Elzaher said that this reflects the strength and growth of the Egyptian ICT sector and increasing number of local exporters.
Elzaher also referred to the Growth Incentive Scheme program launched by ITIDA within the framework of the Digital Egypt Strategy for Offshoring Industry (2022- 2026), targeting both international companies and local SMEs, for the first time, to benefit from the new investment incentives and stimulate their growth by boosting the volume of export-oriented employment. He noted that the program has attracted 9 local companies so far and that ITIDA has allocated a budget amounting to EGP13 million for these companies.
Elzaher also shed light on ITIDA's role to energize and support technological entrepreneurship and innovation through multiple initiatives, including the Information Technology Academia Collaboration (ITAC), with the purpose of strengthening the Egyptian IT industry. ITAC supports collaboration between industry and academia to help develop innovative products and maximize the country's gross national income. Ten companies benefited from the program in 2022.