Mon, 17 May 2021 - 01:04 GMT
Mon, 17 May 2021 - 01:04 GMT
CAIRO – 17 May 2021: “2021 is the year of private-sector engagement. We are keen to bring the innovative and technologically advanced expertise of the private entities into the public sector and the development agenda in hopes to push toward the national and global sustainability targets,” Minister of International Cooperation Rania Al-Mashat said Monday.
Al-Mashat added that reform has to be continuous as the world is continuously changing. We cannot be complacent; we have to be agile, adapting and adopting new policies and structures in order to keep pushing our economies forward
According to Ministry of International of Cooperation statement, global economies are shifting towards digital. Technology is becoming the driving force for infrastructure, education, transportation, entrepreneurship, and industry. In Egypt, the government is set on a digital transformation encompassing all sectors, as the country heads towards a paperless government with a clean energy transformation.
This came during a virtual panel organized by Siemens Middle East, titled “Technology with Purpose for the Middle East”.
The panel was moderated by the Co-head of Communications for Siemens in the Middle East, Mohammed Sergie, the event included the Minister of State for International Cooperation UAE & Managing Director of Expo 2020 Dubai, Reem Al Hashimy; President and CEO of Siemens AG, Dr. Roland Busch; and Deema Albasseet, the Strategic Performance Director at the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology of Saudi Arabia; alongside Al-Mashat.
“The whole world is in a transformation, and COVID-19 also accelerated this transformation...We at Siemens aim to make people's lives better by using tech with purpose,” said Busch.
Egypt is set on building new sustainable cities, such as the New Administrative Capital that is set to become the country’s first smart city. The NAC will include a city-wide digital security system as well as a smart infrastructure to reduce consumption and cost with a focus on renewable energy using IoT.
A key part of building new cities is ensuring strong transportation systems. One of Egypt’s mega transportation projects includes an electric high-speed rail network project that is being constructed in partnership with Siemens AG to establish an integrated electric monorail system with a total length of about 1,000 kilometres, connecting Ain Sokhna city with the New Alamein City, and the New Administrative Capital.
While digitalization was catalyzed by the pandemic, Egypt had already taken strides towards major transformations across sectors; education is one of the key sectors to change. Under “Education 2.0”, Egypt is focused on digitising 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.
“Technology is essential. It is something that should be looked at like water and electricity, it is a right that every citizen should have,” said Albasseet.
Improving the quality of learning and adopting technology serves as a vehicle to achieve reform objectives and helps raise a generation of tech-savvy youth that will be ready for the future of jobs.
"The whole world changed due to COVID-19... the world will want to come together more than ever before given the fact that the pandemic has forced us to rethink our businesses,” said Al Hashimy.
Egypt’s flagship project, the Benban Solar Power complex, is a live example of the necessity of private sector involvement in development projects. The solar project employs over 4,000 people, and limits 2 million tons of harmful gas emissions. So large that it is visible from space, the solar park is also the biggest signal yet of Egypt’s commitment to clean, sustainable energy, and a testament to the power of partnership between the public and private sectors as 32 companies from 12 countries participated in its implementation.
The private sector is a leading force in powering both Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) and in pushing forward in the technological wave. Al-Mashat explained that since the development financing is “purpose-driven” and mapped according to the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), engaging with the private sector is key to accelerate their embracement of environmental, social and governance (ESG) principles.
“Through being agile and forward looking, one will be able to not only address problems of today but also, aspirations for tomorrow,” said Al-Mashat.
In 2020, the Ministry of International Cooperation secured more than a billion dollar for the digitization wave in Egypt, and a development financing worth $3.19 billion was allocated to the support of the private sector and the Micro, Small, and Medium-sized Enterprises.