Working Papers

ICT Services without Borders: An Opportunity for Egypt?

Publication Number: ECESWP150-E

October, 2009

Author : Omneia Helmy

Type : Working Papers

This paper attempts to identify ways to enhance the efficiency of the ICT sector in Egypt and to promote the diffusion and adoption of ICT in the economy. Since early 2000, Egypt has undertaken several reforms including an ICT supportive legal environment, a mix of market liberalization and the introduction of competition, increased private participation, effective ICT sector regulation, in addition to entering into several international commitments. However, various indicators of access, quality, affordability, institutional efficiency and sustainability as well as ICT applications reveal that a digital divide still exists between Egypt and some other countries at a similar stage of economic development and within the country itself, suggesting that there is still much room for improvement. To narrow the digital gap, the paper suggests areas for future interventions, including strictly enforcing ICT related laws; strengthening ICT sector regulation; fostering competition for landline telephone services; expanding ICT connectivity, particularly to rural communities; securing venture capital; reinforcing the quality of ICT education and training; developing and uploading Arabic econtent online; promoting regional cooperation; and securing an open environment under WTO agreements.