Egypt’s plans to become a leading artificial intelligence (AI) powerhouse in North Africa has received a jolt following plans to begin phase two of its national AI strategy.

Communications and Information Technology Minister Amr Talaat said plans for the second phase will commence in the second quarter of 2024 and encompass several key economic sectors.

Talaat confirms that Egypt’s AI plans will see the government introduce initiatives across governance, human resources, technology, information infrastructure, data, and environment. A significant portion of the second stage of the national strategy builds upon the accomplishments of the first round of AI initiatives introduced by the government.

Talaat says the second phase will roll until the middle of 2027 and will consolidate the impressive gains made by Egypt over the last two years.

To achieve its lofty ambitions, the second round of initiatives will focus on increasing the scope of AI investments and conducting public awareness campaigns while pursuing integration with Big Data and blockchain technology.

However, Talaat’s disclosure failed to mention any work to pursue an AI regulatory framework, but analysts are confident that an incoming rulebook will closely mirror
standards set by leading jurisdictions.

Set for completion in May 2024, phase one explored the deployment of AI in a valiant attempt to achieve Egypt’s sustainable development goals (SDGs). A series of government-backed initiatives were introduced to explore a myriad of AI use cases and deepen the existing talent pool for local and global AI developers seeking to set up operations in Egypt.

“The overarching aim of the strategy is for Egypt to possess a competitive, balanced, and diversified economy, dependent on innovation and knowledge, based on justice, social integrity, and participation, in a balanced and diversified ecological collaboration system,” read a statement on the United Nations Sustainable Development Knowledge Platform.

Racking up wins

Egypt’s first batch of AI-backed initiatives have yielded a range of benefits for the North African nation, putting it among an exclusive group of first-movers on the continent. Data from Tortoise Media shows Egypt has gone up seven places in the Global AI Index in under 12 months, buoyed by increasing adoption of the technology.

AI usage in medical imaging in Egypt soared to a $4 million market at the end of 2022, but experts predict astronomical growth for the sector. By 2030, the industry is expected to reach a valuation of $52 million, growing at an annual rate of 36.9% as diagnostic centers
pivot to the automated analysis of medical images.

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