Egypt welcomes Chinese investment in ICTs sector: minister

16:57, February 01, 2010      

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Egypt welcomes Chinese investments in the Information and Communications Technologies ( ICTs) sector, Egyptian Communications and Information Technology Minister Tarek Kamel told Xinhua in a recent interview.

"We have seen several companies from China, such as ZTE and others, investing in Egypt," Kamel said at the sidelines of the ongoing 14th African Union (AU) summit, which opened Sunday under the theme "Information and Communication in Africa: Challenges and Prospects for Development."

"Chinese companies are not only helping us to build our infrastructure, but they are also establishing the regional centers for GSM operations as well as technical support," said the minister.

According to Kamel, Africa's ICTs development is facing a series of challenges. A major one lies in infrastructure, such as achieving adequate penetration of mobile phones and broadband.

In this regard, Kamel emphasized the inconsistencies in ICT infrastructure development between north, South Africa and the sub- Sahara region.

Another tough challenge for Africa is human resource development, Kamel said, adding that Egypt is taking the lead in this field.

"We have seen immense interest in our African neighbors in helping us the establishment of the smart village and technology parks and business parks," he said.

The three-day AU summit gathered heads of state and government of more than 50 AU members to assess the achievements and challenges of Africa's ICTs sector, and map out relevant development strategies.

The leaders will also discuss issues of major concern in the continent, including regional conflicts, Africa's political and economic integration, climate change and Africa's stance on UN reforms, among others.

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