Egyptian and European digital actors vowed to boost Egypt’s green technology (Greentech) industry during a two-day workshop that took place on 4-5 October at Sultana Malak Palace, in Heliopolis, Cairo. Over 50 representatives of private sector, civil society, academia, and government, gathered in an effort to draw a common roadmap to support Artificial Intelligence (AI) and digital technology applications in the field of resilient agriculture and smart cities.
The workshop also gave start-ups the opportunity to present new products and services vis-à-vis potential partners, and to co-create solutions to meet Egypt’s sustainability and digitalisation targets.
The event was convened by Expertise France, an implementing partner of the African Union-European Union (AU-EU) Digital for Development (D4D) Hub, in partnership with the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT), the Ministry of International Cooperation (MOIC), the Information Technology Industry Development Agency (ITIDA), and the French Embassy in Egypt.
Eng. Amr Mahfouz, CEO of ITIDA, declared: “Egypt encourages cooperation and partnerships with stakeholders involved in actively fostering the role of ICTs in building a greener society and economy – not only through words, but through practical solutions that address the real challenges that our planet and our communities are facing. Through ICT we can develop powerful tools and innovative processes that can help us to efficiently utilise our natural resources. Accordingly, the Ministry of ICT supports digital innovation across the country through 12 creative centres, and we are planning to build at least one in each governorate. These centres are designed as hubs that foster ideation, interaction with mentors, co-working, networking events, workshops, venture demos, product launches, as well as other collaborative activities.”
H.E. Ambassador Christian Berger, Head of the European Union Delegation to Egypt, highlighted the importance of digital cooperation for the EU-Egypt partnership, adding: “In this new ambitious phase of cooperation guided by the new Partnership Priorities, the EU and Egypt agreed to work together to promote economic resilience and prosperity through the green and digital transition. Fostering entrepreneurship and advancing digital technologies in Egypt will be at the centre of our cooperation as Team Europe to support Egypt's successful and inclusive digital transition. The outcomes of this workshop will help us materialise these ambitions and inform digital initiatives to support climate change mitigation and adaptation in the fields of agriculture and smart cities, amongst others. Another concrete 'green step' ahead of COP27.”
Egypt will host the 27th Conference of the Parties of the UNFCCC (COP27) from 6 to 18 November 2022 in Sharm El-Sheikh – a pivotal moment to reinforce multilateral cooperation to fight climate change. The workshop thus took place in the lead-up to COP27 with the aim of shedding light on how to build on the power of technology, and of AI in particular, to support these efforts.
“Today, tech solutions are indispensable in overcoming many developmental challenges and are key to achieve the sustainable development goals. This has been clearly demonstrated during the COVID-19 pandemic, as technology has been critical in enhancing sectors such as fintech, education, and clean and renewable energy. A key part of resilience is dependent on our innovators and tech leaders, and the risks they take to address problems through unconventional solutions. They are the true game-changers when it comes to putting forth new ideas in the Greentech sector. The Government of Egypt is committed to expanding the role of digitalisation as part of its national agenda, such as through the development of smart cities, modern agriculture, and AI,” said H.E. Dr. Rania A. Al-Mashat, Minister of International Cooperation.
“Innovation must play a pivotal role in the ecological transition. Together with our Team Europe and Egyptian partners, we look forward to accompanying digital entrepreneurs, strengthening the Greentech ecosystem, fostering multi-stakeholder collaborations, and amplifying the reach of initiatives with high potential,” concluded H.E. Marc Baréty, French Ambassador to Egypt.
About the AU-EU D4D Hub:
The African Union – European Union (AU-EU) Digital for Development (D4D) Hub supports African institutions to create an enabling environment for an inclusive and sustainable digital transformation. It is co-funded by the European Union and jointly implemented by eight European organisations. It is part of the D4D Hub, an EU-led platform that creates and leverages partnerships to shape a sustainable digital future worldwide.
Background on EU-Egypt Relations:
Under the Global Mediterranean Policy launched in 1972, an agreement between the European Economic Community and Egypt was signed in January 1977. The framework laid out by the 1995 Euro-Mediterranean Partnership paved the way for some modest advances in the EU–Egypt relations, leading to a new Association Agreement signed on 25 June 2001, in the context of the Barcelona process that entered into force in June 2004. In March 2007, The European Neighbourhood Policy Action Plan was adopted and in 2016, The EU and Egypt initiated a dialogue on future Partnership Priorities in line with the revised European Neighbourhood Policy. EU-Egypt Partnership Priorities were adopted at the occasion of the EU-Egypt Association Council in July 2017 and guided the partnership for the period 2017-2021. The new Partnership Priorities 2022-2027 were adopted in June 2022.