Wed, 09 Jun 2021 - 03:26 GMT
Minister of International Cooperation Rania Al-Mashat - Press Photo
CAIRO – 9 June 2021: Egypt discussed the necessity of digitizing the world’s industries and trade channels in alignment with the global sustainability targets with the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO).
This came during a virtual event organized by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) titled “Industry 4.0 in Egypt: Enhancing the Readiness for the Adoption of Industry 4.0” on June 8.
The Minister of International Cooperation Rania A. Al-Mashat took part in the event which was moderated by the Director and UNIDO Representative of the Regional Hub Office in Egypt, Bassel El Khatib.
The event included the Minister of Communications and Information Technology, Amr Talaat; the Minister of Trade and Industry, Nevine Gamea, and the UNIDO’s Deputy Director General, Hiroshi Kuniyoshi.
Al-Mashat stated that the Programme for Country Partnership (PCP) is of profound importance and aligns with Egypt's Vision 2030, and the UN Partnership Development Framework (UNPDF), the strategic cooperation framework between the Arab Republic of Egypt and the United Nations for 2018-2022.
“At the Ministry of International Cooperation, we look forward to supporting different needs of the PCP through collaborating with other multilateral and bilateral development partners to push both the national and global development agendas forward,” said Al-Mashat.
Catalyzed by the COVID-19 pandemic, there is an accelerated development of digital technologies across all fields, resulting in the emergence of Industry 4.0 (I4.0). The I4.0 wave is rather a technological shift that shall impact all areas of life with a promise to positively advance the economic performance of the countries, while maintaining environmentally-friendly qualities.
Al-Mashat explained that as global economies are shifting towards digital, technology is becoming the driving force for infrastructure, education, transportation, entrepreneurship, and industry. The Government of Egypt is set on a digital transformation encompassing all sectors, as the country heads towards a paperless government with a clean energy transformation. One of the benchmark examples of such commitment can be seen through the development of the New Administrative Capital (NAC), which is set to become Egypt’s first smart city. The NAC will include a city-wide digital security system, and smart infrastructure to reduce consumption; moreover, it will be powered by renewable energy to develop a sustainable energy mix.
The current digital revolution must be supported by a correspondent reform in the education sector. Raising a generation of tech-savvy youth who are ready to be part of the future of work is a necessity in order to capitalize on the ongoing changes in the development scene and to equip them for the jobs of the future.
Under “Education 2.0”, Egypt is focused on digitizing education by providing servers, screens and tablets to 25,000 public schools; changing the assessment model for high school and other levels of education in the future; and uploading the curricula from kindergarten through to Grade 12 to a digital library online that is freely accessible. This reform is supported by both the Ministry of International Cooperation and the World Bank Group (WBG), and has helped improve the quality of learning in a way that adopts technology as a vehicle to achieve reform objectives.
“The education sector must upgrade curriculums to prepare students for the requirements of the industry. Companies will have to make investments in their workforce and equipment to be ready for the future; these are only a few implications of industry 4.0,” said UNIDO Representative of the Regional Hub Office in Egypt, Bassel El Khatib.
For her part, Nevine Gamea, Minister of Trade and Industry, emphasized that all of the steps listed during the panel to venture towards a digital future are in line with Egypt’s 2030 vision, causing significant progress in the country’s socioeconomic development.
“Egypt represents its youth by seizing the opportunity to catalyze the I4.0 revolution. The youth must be prepared to take on the future jobs; paving the way for sustainable progress and technological development,” added Gamea.
Amr Mahfouz, Assistant Minister for Growth and Development at the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology, stated that as Egypt embarks on its ambitious plans within its 2030 Vision, UNIDO’s PCP becomes of high relevance as it aims to enhance Egypt’s industry and to help the country benefit from technologies.
Within Stakeholder Capitalism, which the Government of Egypt upholds, both reshaping education systems and harnessing the 4th Industrial Revolution work hand in hand in supporting several UN Sustainable Development Goals namely, SDG 4: Quality Education, SDG 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth, SDG 9: Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure and SDG 10: Reduced Inequalities.
Al-Mashat shared that for the 4th Industrial Revolution to come into action, inclusivity is necessary; elevating the skills of the minority groups - especially women - is mandatory in order to achieve an integrated development for the country. The Ministry of International Cooperation is collaborating with multilateral and bilateral development partners to put forth women empowerment in the educational, social, and economic spheres. Early this year, the Ministry launched the “Closing the Gender Gap Accelerator” Action Plan in cooperation with the National Council for Women and the World Economic Forum aiming to close the gender gap and advance women in leadership positions across various sectors; including the digital and technological industries.