22 January 2021

Amr Mahfouz, CEO of Egypt’s Information Technology Industry Development Agency (ITIDA), has received Wamkele Mene, Secretary-General of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Secretariat.

Mene is visiting Cairo at the head of a high-level delegation to hold a series of important meetings on the roadmap for the AfCFTA’s implementation.

Mahfouz affirmed that the ITIDA is fully prepared to participate in completing negotiations on terms of the agreement related to information technology (IT), and to reach common visions among the member states.

He added that the proposals were developed as part of the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology’s strategy to develop Egypt’s exports of IT products and services. This will also see job opportunities for Egyptian professionals created, whilst also focusing on cross-Africa cooperation to open markets. At the same time, the proposals look to attract more foreign investments in the field of communications and information technology (CIT).

Mahfouz noted that the Ministry’s proposals are to enhance joint cooperation in various aspects, including trade liberalisation in telecommunications and IT services. This will come as part of the AFCFTA agreement, and will transfer and exchange expertise and knowledge. The proposals additionally aim to develop competencies and capabilities, whether at technical or administrative level.

The meeting saw discussions between the two sides on ways to enable Egyptian companies to participate in digital transformation and communication infrastructure projects in Africa. These will also exploit Egypt’s distinguished geographical location to become Africa’s gateway to the European and Arab markets, Mahfouz said.

For his part, Mene stressed that the agreement’s activation will provide unprecedented opportunities to enhance the growth of the continent’s economies. It will also develop Africa’s contribution to global trade, whilst reviving industrial and agricultural sectors in the continent and developing its economic system. source

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