According to Egypt’s communications and Information technology Minister Amr Talaat, Egypt has started with phase two of its AI strategy which will focus on increasing the scope of AI investments and conducting public awareness campaigns while pursuing integration with Big Data and blockchain technology.

Talaat confirmed that the second phase will commence in Q2 of 2024 and will cover several key economic sectors. He explained 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.

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

The NAIS is part of the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology’s Digital Egypt initiative announced in 2017. The strategy comprises three phases until 2030. The published document only focuses on phase one, with hints about the following two. That phase “deepens the use of AI technologies to transform the economy, going beyond just adopting technology.” The ultimate goal is that companies and the government would have to “fundamentally [rethink] business models, and [make] big changes to reap productivity gains and create new areas of growth.”

Its primary focus is to introduce AI solutions in government services, agriculture, manufacturing, healthcare, finance and economic predictions, and natural language processing (NLP). Another emphasis is training schoolchildren, postgraduate students, and professionals in the latest AI technologies, regulations, ethics, and use cases. The strategy also aims to cooperate with international partners to ensure technology transfer.

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.

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.