Egypt launches $35bn rural fibre project to connect 58% of population

Egypt launches $35bn rural fibre project to connect 58% of population

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Egypt has started a project to connect 1,300 villages to fibre in the first stage of a scheme priced at US$32 billion.

The whole scheme will connect 4,584 villages, said minister of communications and information technology Amr Talaat. That represents 58% of Egypt’s total population of just over 100 million. The initial stage will cost $350 million.

This is part of the country’s Decent Life project, begun two years ago by President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, as part of the ICT department’s efforts to improve access to the internet.

At the same time Talaat said his ministry is implementing Digital Egypt Builders Initiative, as part of an integrated strategy to create skills needed by the local and international labour markets.

The minister said his ministry seeks to turn Egypt into a pioneering country in the field of digital technology with the aim of enabling citizens to get e-services.

Hoda Baraka, first deputy to the minister, said the country was working on projects with AWS, Cisco, IBM, Microsoft and VMware.

Sisi directed the government this week to double efforts on data digitisation in Egypt. A meeting with Talaat and others, reviewed the implementation progress of national projects in the field of communications and information technology nationwide.

The Decent Life project will help meet the demand for high-speed connectivity that has been growing across the country since last year, due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

With access to quality internet connectivity, Egypt’s rural populations will also be able to take part in the digital transformation of the country, said the government, reducing the digital divide.