Tuesday, 11 May 2021

We smell a data hub

Egypt is in “promising talks” with foreign companies to invest in establishing data centers in the country, CIT Minister Amr Talaat tells Al Arabiya (watch, runtime: 6:25). The minister declined to name specific companies, saying only that they are “major players” in the data center space. Data centers are the priority area for the ministry to attract fresh foreign investments this year, particularly as Egypt’s geographical location means we are well-placed to handle data travel. Egypt already has several subsea cables through which a “massive” amount of data travels from Europe, Asia, and North America, Talaat said.

Software development and digital services will also be a key development and investment area for the CIT Ministry this year, alongside data analytics and artificial intelligence, according to Talaat. Altogether, the ministry is planning to increase CIT’s contribution to the country’s GDP to 5% this year and 8% within three years.

The plan to establish Egypt as a data center hub has been in motion for several years now — and comes hand-in-hand with the government’s digital push: We first got wind of a national strategy geared towards this goal back in 2018, when then-CIT Minister Yasser El Kady said the government aims to attract more investments and data centers to Egypt. The digital transformation has also seen the government roll out more than 70 services through its online government services portal, with plans to increase that number to 170 by the end of 2021 and making all government services available online in 2023, Talaat said.

Want to know more about Egypt’s data center landscape (and what a data center even means)? We covered the topic in detail in a three-part series of Hardhat, our infrastructure vertical. Read part one to get a lay of the land, then read part two for a better understanding of what’s impeding our data center growth, and finish off with part three, which lays out the drivers of growth.

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