08 Jun Egypt’s ICT sector grows by 4.5% in Q1
Egypt’s telecoms industry grew by 9.5% and its ICT sector by 4.5% in Q1 2018, according to the country’s Ministry of Planning, Monitoring and Administrative Reform.
ICT Minister Yasser El-Kady commented on the importance of ICT to the local economy. “The sector is one of the most important sectors, and the main engine of the national economy. It has achieved leaps in growth rates over the past two years by up to 12.5%. This is unprecedented growth. It also contributes to the GDP by over 3.5%. The sector achieved exports worth $3.26bn, with an increase of over $1.7bn.”
The government has also pledged to increase its investment in both ICT and telecoms.
“Thanks to the reform of the business environment, major projects have been developed and many international companies are knocking on the door of the Egyptian market,” El-Kady added.
The Minister announced that the country’s digital strategy will be fully implemented by 2020, and said state-owned fixed phone operator Telecom Egypt will expand its services internationally by the end of 2018.
He did not divulge which country or countries would be targeted.
While acknowledging growth, tech experts believe the local ICT sector has the potential to perform better were it not for incidents involving content regulation and censorship.
Local media reported that in May 2018 the country’s High Administrative Court ordered prevention of access to YouTube for one month in response to videos on the platform that were considered ‘insulting’ to Islam.
YouTube refused to remove the controversial video but restricted access in specific countries including Egypt, Libya, and Indonesia.