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Thursday, 9 May 2019

Thales’ new country director wants a piece of Egypt’s investment in digital infrastructure

EXCLUSIVE- Thales’ new country director wants a piece of Egypt’s investment in digital infrastructure: Global transportation and defense giant Thales yesterday announced the appointment of Sherif Barakat as its new country director for Egypt. The company has a long history here, providing solutions in the defense, space, transportation, aerospace, and security sectors. Barakat takes on the role as the company looks to expand its footprint in Egypt, especially in the digital sector. We spoke this week about the company’s history in Egypt and what its future plans look like.

Enterprise: How does it feel to be made Thales’ country director?

Sherif Barakat: I feel good. It’s a challenging position because we are very diversified across a lot of sectors, all of which touch the lives of ordinary Egyptians. This means we need to deliver in time with the right level of technology, safety, and security. Decision makers in a country rely on Thales. This position also makes me proud because I see that my work and the work of my team is reflected in the improved quality of living of Egyptians.

E: What’s the background on your presence in Egypt?

SB: Thales has been operating in Egypt since 1973, for over 40 years. Historically, we have had a lot of projects in defense solutions with the Defense Ministry. We also have lots of projects in the civil domain, particularly in transportation. We are very proud to cooperate with the Transport Ministry to operate infrastructure for many railway lines in Egypt, especially the Cairo-Alexandria line. This is one of the busiest in the world, carrying around 25-30 mn passengers per year. On that line, our project is to upgrade the signaling system, which reduces accidents and saves lives.

We’re also proud to have been involved since the beginning of the Cairo metro in the 1980s. Our current project is Line 3, which will take passengers directly to Cairo International Airport. Speaking of airports, we’re proud to be a historical partner of the Civil Aviation Ministry and air traffic control and management. A lot of the control towers, runways, and course simulation and training facilities in Egyptian airports use or are based on Thales technology and equipment.

We also have a historical partnership with Nilesat. Since the beginning, Nilesat has used satellites built by Thales, which makes us the main provider of media broadcasting in Egypt and across the Middle East and Africa.

This could not have been possible without the talented young Egyptians who built these projects in Egypt using tech from around the world. We have around 400 young employees, engineers, technicians, and workers involved in all our projects in Egypt.

Tap or click here to continue reading our chat with Sherif Barakat, which covers everything from AI to railways and other infrastructure.

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