President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi inaugurated the 23rd edition of Cairo ICT, which took place the Egypt International Exhibition Center (EIEC) from December 1 to 4, bidding to highlight the key benefits within digital transformation and commended efforts made under the state’s plan toward a cashless economy.

Under the patronage of President El-Sisi, Cairo ICT showcased the world’s newest innovations and tech trends, with more than 5,000 exhibitors, in addition to over 98,000 conferees and 1 mn visitors. Alongside the attendance of several ministers and officials, the forum saw the participation of various property developers, including Talaat Moustafa Group (TMG) Holding, Palm Hills Developments (PHD), among other real estate companies that exhibited their wide range of smart developments across Egypt.

Numerous panels took place throughout the four-day event to review the latest breakthroughs in the information technology (IT) field. Invest-Gate gets a comprehensive take on the “Intelli-Cities” discussion, where seven representatives of property development companies and service providers, namely Akam Developments, El Attal Holding, Administrative Capital for Urban Development (ACUD), Mountain View, asserted the momentous investment opportunity in smart cities, in pursuance of sustainability and satisfying the basic needs of customers by offering products with energy, water, and time efficiency.

Furthermore, the market experts hailed the regulations put by the ACUD for the implementation of integrated control/building management systems to the development projects being undertaken in the New Administrative Capital (NAC), notably through the installation of security and fire systems, together with smart-scale energy solutions for electricity consumption as well as water and sewage treatment facilities.

During the Intelli-Cities panel, CTO of ACUD Mohamed Khalil highlighted the state-run company’s keenness to implement the Fiber-to-the-Home (FTTH) access network, alongside other smart applications, coming as part of the developer’s overall strategy to build a well-crafted communications infrastructure for the new capital. He noted that the government plans to operationalize ACUD’s business model across other new cities too, in line with its collective efforts to automate and digitize all functions and processes.

Besides, Mountain View Founder and CEO Amr Soliman emphasized his company’s expertise in executing innovative developments that incorporate high-quality smart solutions, particularly “iCity,” its latest integrated compound in New Cairo, and “Heartwork,” which is being brought in collaboration with US-based culture consulting Delivering Happiness and architectural design firm CallisonRTKL, positioned at the heart of the former development.

“At Heartwork, for example, smart cameras powered by artificial intelligence (AI) technology are installed to screen the facial expressions of employees and measure customer satisfaction rating. As a result, these devices provide instant and accurate feed about the detected faces, thereby responding accordingly by playing their favorite music and even send birthday greetings, among other exceptional services aimed at delivering happiness on-site,” Soliman explained.

On the sidelines of the conference, Minister of Communications and Information Technology Amr Talaat witnessed the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Information Technology Industry Development Agency (ITIDA) and NEC, an international company specializing in IT and telecommunications. The deal is aimed at enhancing cooperation in digital transformation as well as establishing the NEC Center of Excellence (CoE) in Egypt to act as a regional hub, serving the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region through building capacities of high-skilled Egyptian calibers.

A number of other agreements and cooperation protocols have been uncovered behind the scenes of Cairo ICT 2019. Most importantly, the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology launched “Qodwa.Tech” initiative to empower Egyptian women, coming as part of the plans to create a leading development model for enhancing the technological capabilities of North African females. Also, the planning ministry kicked off a mobile application, called “Sharek 2030,” in a bid to raise awareness of Egypt’s Sustainable Development Agenda 2030.