President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi posing for a group photo prior to the opening of the High-Level Forum Africa-Europe in Vienna, Austria. December 18, 2018. Press Photo
CAIRO - 18 December 2018: President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi delivered a speech at the High-Level Forum Africa-Europe in Vienna on Tuesday highlighting that the continent has achieved positive sustainable development rates over the past decade despite harsh conditions.
“Yet, we haven’t reached our targeted rates because of the difficult conditions in some African states, and the ascendance of terror groups, and foreign intervention,” the president added.
“We need to eliminate fear of the future felt by our youth. Digital transition and information technology are crucial to create the ecosystem necessary to attract investment and to boost creativity,” the president affirmed.
The president said that he aspires to build a fiber optic network that connects Europe and Africa.
President Sisi stated that 60 percent of the African population whose size is 1.2 billion are below the age of 15, and that 12 million Africans enter the labor market annually.
The president said that Egypt has developed a plan to raise awareness on digital transition. He added that the state is digitizing civil services, and municipal management. That is in addition to creating a digital platform to exchange governmental data (G2G) as part of a bigger project to achieve e-governance.
The president said that Egypt has launched an initiative to manufacture electronics, and digitize cultural content. The country also established the National Academy for Information and Communication Technology for People with Special Needs.
“Egypt has always been proud to belong to Africa,” the president said highlighting that Egypt houses African Technology Innovation Lab (UNTIL) launched by the United Nations in July. It is located in the Technology Innovation and Entrepreneurship Center (TIEC) in Smart Village.
The president said that the project would improve the abilities of African technology researchers, and equip them to face international challenges, and meet the sustainable development goals of the UN 2030 Agenda and Africa 2063 Agenda.
The president also shed light on African Initiative for Gaming and Digital Applications launched by Egypt to train 10,000 African youths over three years, and support the establishment of 100 companies in that field in Egypt and Africa.
“Last month, we hosted the 11th edition of Cairo ICT 2018 Exhibition where public and private establishments met,” President Sisi said.
“Digitalization is a main goal on Africa 2063 Agenda since it is pivotal to develop an infrastructure that would connect the continent’s countries together,” the president added highlighting that the role of the telecom sector is essential to accomplish that goal.
The president said that Africa needs an electronic network for education, and distance learning.
“We need to create a generation that would lead digital transition, and be able to deal with cybersecurity and Artificial Intelligence,” President Sisi stressed.
The president added that it is important to facilitate insurance through regional and international entities, and that cooperation is needed in in the sectors of ICT (Information and Communication Technology), renewable energy, and transport to facilitate the movement of goods and services within the continent.
The president urged concerted efforts to face challenges embodied in climate change, global warming, and decreasing emissions saying that digital solutions may come up with creative solutions for those challenges.
President Sisi concluded saying the bases for cooperation must be mutual respect, and equality.