The Minister of Communications and Information Technology Amr Talaat opened the Egyptian African Telecom Regulatory Training Center (EG-ATRC), an affiliated center to the National Telecom Regulatory Authority (NTRA) in Smart Village, in the presence of NTRA Executive President Hossam El-Gamal.
This comes as part of the Egyptian efforts in building African human competencies capable of dealing with the emerging challenges in the telecommunication sector.
The Center aims to develop the capabilities of African telecommunication regulators and authorities through a unique training system that includes Egyptian academic and professional expertise, to equip them with the necessary expertise and enable them to contribute to building a promising African digital economy.
During the opening ceremony, EG-ATRC first training program was launched, with participants from 11 African countries, in the presence of the Deputy Assistant Foreign Minister for African Affairs Sherif Mukhtar, ambassadors and diplomatic representatives of the Embassies of Sudan, Cameroon, Senegal and Mauritania.
The ICT Minister underlined that the establishment of EG-ATRC enhances Egypt's policy of cooperating with African brotherly countries through serious projects that benefit African people. He stated that EG-ATRC is the first African training center in telecommunication regulation, providing opportunities for exchanging experiences among African countries, in major areas, such as cybersecurity and smart systems.
Over the past years, Talaat added, Egypt made great strides in the field of telecommunication governance, which resulted in Egypt moving up 54 spots on the International Telecommunication Union’s (ITU) ICT Regulatory Tracker 2020, ranking 41st out of 193 countries, up from the 95th in 2019. That milestone spurred the establishment of EG-ATRC to exchange experiences in that field with African brotherly countries.
The ICT Minister stated that the Center will help share the Egyptian experience in ICT fields, especially those related to building smart cities, the New Administrative Capital, and carrying out technological projects within Haya Karima presidential initiative, in a way that helps carrying out similar projects in African countries.
The Center provides a set of capacity building programs, including a cybersecurity program that aims to raise the efficiency of information and network security, and help systematically arrange the provision of technical support and capacity building in that field.
This is in addition to a training program for managing scarce resources, such as frequencies, numbering, etc. This program comes as the frequency spectrum represents one of the major issues in Africa, requiring distinguished human competencies capable of managing it optimally and benefiting from it in a way that is positively reflected on communication and Internet services. The program provides opportunities for continuous communication among experts to provide the necessary technical support in that matter.
Moreover, EG-ATRC provides training programs in areas including smart cities and infrastructure, in light of the increased number of countries seeking to establish smart cities. The Egyptian experience in that field provides a number of models corresponding with Africa, namely the New Administrative Capital, which is one of the Egyptian models that can be imitated in African brotherly countries, especially with the fact that some of its aspects are still under construction, which represents a live experience for experts. This is in addition to Egypt’s experience in digital financial inclusion, which became important with the spread of the pandemic with the growing reliance on electronic payment methods.
For his part, El-Gamal said that establishing EG-ATRC aims to develop the telecommunication sector’s workforce to enable the African people to deal with emerging regulatory and technical issues in a way that makes the Center’s graduates valuable assets for the telecommunication sector in its broad regional concept. The Center aims to train 150 specialists annually through specialized training courses designed and delivered by international experts.
The EG-ATRC training programs are delivered in English in person, at NTRA branches. The Center also provides free online training programs using the Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) system, similar to the ITU Academy, allowing work continuity during emergencies, such as the pandemic.