The Egyptian president Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi inaugurated Cairo ICT 2021 on 7 November in the presence of other officials and dignitaries. El-Sisi was keen on learning from industry leaders about their digital solutions and ideas, spending hours at each round. Cairo ICT is widely regarded as the annual tech hub for the technologies introduced in Egypt in the previous year, as well as the ones that are set to be launched in the following year.
The showcase’s slogan for this year is The Digital Challenge, in reference to the efforts of the government and the public and private sector to digitally transform the country.
Cairo ICT 2021 marked the silver jubilee for the event, having started back in 1996. The exhibition covered 10 tech domains that include Ed-Tech, Agri-Tech, Retail-Tech, Space-Tech, and others.
The four-day showcase included a wide range of hot tech topics, including 5-G or Multi-G, The Hyperscale Revolution, Cloud-Tech & DevOps, IoT & IIoT, Robotics & Drones, AR & VR, and Zero-Trust Architecture & Cybersecurity.
One particular topic that stood out was using IoT and IIoT in digitising payments and how that has the potential to impact the government’s financial system and improve the government-citizen relationship.
The moderator, İbrahim Sarhan, Chairman & CEO of e-finance investment group, demonstrated the rising spread of online payment solutions like Fawry and Vodafone Cash, and how the government can use IoT to implement similar technologies and allow citizens to pay utility and service bills more conveniently through online channels.
The event was sponsored by a plethora of major national and international companies and institutions, including Microsoft, Dell Technologies, Huawei, Commercial International Bank (CIB), Banque Misr, VISA, and Mrsool.
One of the biggest highlights at Cairo ICT was Etisalat Misr’s digital solutions that enabled the company to build smart cities in collaboration with the Egyptian government.
Egypt’s under-construction New Administrative Capital, for example, is built around a smart city model that allows citizens to handle their day-to-day payments, access utilities, and get their procedures done with a single mobile app. The app even lets citizens search for parking spots thanks to the parking sensors that’ll flood the city.
Another innovative solution is the implementation of trash can sensors that are capable of measuring the can’s temperature, detecting if it’s closed or opened, and transmitting a signal to the authority when it’s complete.
The ACUD card, which enables citizens to pass through metro stations, facilities, and compounds, was also something that caught the attention of the attendees.
Moving on to green technology solutions, ICT witnessed the showcasing of LiDAR sensors that are attached to street lights. These sensors can detect movement, firing up the lights only when there are people or vehicles in the streets. They can also be used for security purposes.
One more notable digital solution is the ATM machine that allows non-cardholders to withdraw and load cash conveniently to and from their digital wallets. It also allows users to transfer money to and from their friends and family.