Egypt/ 4.2 Specific policy issues and recent debates  

4.2.11 New technologies and digitalisation in the arts and culture

The speech delivered by Egyptian Prime Minister Dr. Ahmad Nazif, on behalf of President Hosni Mubarak during a meeting of Arab government leaderships at the World Economic Forum in Davos in 2004, represented the official position of the Egyptian government concerning modern technologies and methods of utilization in all fields. The speech spoke of the boom in the filed of telecommunications, particularly landline and mobile phone services and internet services achieved by adopting clear and specific policies to liberalize the telecommunication services.

The initiatives of the IT community in Egypt are implemented in several forms of partnership between the government, private sector and civil society, such as:

  • Free Internet Initiative: offers internet services for all landline subscribers at the cost of local phone call. Around one million Egyptian households use this service today.
  • Computer for Every Home initiative: aims to enable citizens own high quality desktops assembled or manufactured locally in reduced prices. This initiative seeks to develop the computer industry in Egypt and increase the use internet at the same time.
  • IT Clubs Initiative: allows children and young person all over the country to use IT by establishing IT clubs at the headquarters of civil associations, youth centers, cultural centers, schools and public libraries.

 

E-Government

Mr. Nazif announced the government is currently embarked on a radical reform process in the field of public services, such as investment, taxation, health, registration, licensing and inquiry. This initiative, which also contains constant productivity development projects for the said public services sector, seeks to achieve effective participation of the private and civil sectors in the government. These services are one of the fruits of strategic cooperation between the Egyptian government and Microsoft.

E-Documentation of Cultural and Natural Heritage

A project is currently being implemented by using IT to document the Egyptian cultural identity aimed at preserving the country's manuscripts and archives by registering them on microfilms. This project also seeks to introduce Egypt's cultural and historical riches to the world via the internet.

In addition, a copyright law and a unified law for the regulation of the telecommunication sector were recently issued and a draft law for e-signature is in preparation.

The world of internet opened the door wide open for Egyptians to express their political and cultural opinions through blogs, on-line forums and websites.


Chapter published: 01-04-2016


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