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Egypt to Begin Implementation of MENA’s Biggest Digital Transformation Project for Businesses

First announced almost one year ago, the project is set to kick off its first phase, during which seven holding companies and their subsidiaries will be transformed - the first of a total of 63.

For several years, ‘digital transformation’ has been the hot-button topic in business and entrepreneurship circles. Before the onset of COVID-19, it existed as a gradual process ticking away in the background, before the pandemic accelerated the need for all things digital. While some independent startups and businesses are primed to serve this need, particularly in the realm of fintech, the cause has become a public-private one, as governments across the Middle East quickly shifted their focus to the digitisation of the business sector, lest a potential lag rub salt in the economic wounds inflicted by the pandemic.

This is very much the case for Egypt, where several Ministries have been on the frontline of digital transformation, not least the Ministry of Public Enterprise Sector, which has announced that it will imminently begin the implementation of a sweeping digital transformation project that will affect 63 holding companies, alongside their subsidiaries - making it the largest project of its kind in the MENA region. The transformation will focus on six different elements: production, sales, procurement, human resources, warehouse management and finance. The companies are said to operate across 12 sectors, including tourism, pharmaceuticals and maritime and land transport.

Announced in February 2020 and coming at a reported cost of EGP 50 million, the latest update from Minister Hisham Tawfik has confirmed that enterprise resource planning systems have been prepared for seven of the companies and will be implemented in the first quarter of this year.

As part of the project, a special data centre has been established as a central hub for a cloud network in cooperation with local IT specialist, Viber Egypt Systems, and Vodafone Egypt, which will be critical in facilitating the enterprise resource planning systems. While the timeframe of the whole project rollout is unclear, the initial phase marks a huge step in the road to digitisation and comes off the back of digital transformation initiative for Egyptian SMEs launched in July 2020, also spearheaded by the Ministry of Public Enterprise Sector.

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