Will global tripartite ICT agreement pay off for Egypt?

After having signed an MoU to enhance cooperation to enhance ICT, representatives from Cyprus, Egypt and Greece have convened at the first steering committee meeting organised in Cyprus.

The MoU was signed in July and emerged from a trilateral presidential summit held in October 2016. The summit was organised to strengthen cooperation in ICT, as well as establish a specialised centre for capacity building and entrepreneurship in Borg EI Arab, Egypt's new technology park.

A statement issued by Egypt's Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT) confirmed the meeting will last for two days.

The Ministry says its participation in the CEG Steering Committee meetings, especially its first one, is of great significance since the meeting will discuss the organisational framework of the agreement and examine its execution plan - which will be inaugurated in November 2017 following an agreement between all three parties.

The three-year MoU covers a number of areas of cooperation, including e-skills training and capacity building.

Officials from Egypt, Cyprus and Greece have also agreed to establish a specialised centre for capacity building and entrepreneurship that will be headquartered in Borg El Arab in Egypt, with offices in Cyprus and Greece.

The centre aims to train professionals from the three countries on internationally recognised e-skills, and increase opportunities for developing digital skills for their respective workforce through training programs, exchange of experiences and support for SMEs.

Global competitiveness ranking

The World Economic Forum's Global Competitiveness Report for the year 2016 to 2017 placed Greece in 76th position for technological adoption, while Cyprus was positioned at 81 and Egypt in 106th place out of 138 countries.

The ITU's 2016 ICT Development Index, which compares 175 countries, placed Egypt in the 100th spot, Cyprus came in at number 54 and Greece secured the best position among the three in 36th place.

Egypt is in 5th place among African countries on the same list, behind Mauritius, Seychelles and South Africa who make up the top three.