Electronic Commerce Challenges and Opportunities in Egypt

Electronic Commerce Challenges and Opportunities in Egypt

Sherif Kamel (The American University in Cairo, Egypt)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-9787-4.ch088
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Background

Over the last few decades, ICT became vital as a platform for business and socioeconomic development (Kamel & Hussein, 2004; American Chamber of Commerce in Egypt, 2002; Kamel, 2000). Moreover, the Internet and its continuous diffusion across different societies became an important medium for information acquisition and knowledge dissemination across the globe (Kamel, 1995), leading to the formulation of the global information society and creating the digital economy with its growing trends such as competing in time, customer relationship management and smart communities (Kamel, 2009a). Since 1985, Egypt has invested in its ICT infrastructure targeting the build-up of its national information infrastructure (NII) to become the platform for the development of all sectors based on timely, relevant and accurate information. This was a two-phased approach where the first was primarily focused on building the information infrastructure (infostructure) and the second was based on building the ICT infrastructure across the country’s 27 governorates (provinces). During the period 1985-1995, a public-private partnership (PPP) helped realize the establishment of Egypt’s information highway (Kamel, 1995). The program embedded the establishment of hundreds of informatics projects and centers in different government, public and private sector organizations as well as the development and improvement of all the building blocks of the information infrastructure such as people, technology (hardware and software), networks, information and knowledge management aspects (Kamel, 1999).

Key Terms in this Chapter

Social media: They are computer-mediated tools and applications that allow people to create, share or exchange information, ideas, pictures and videos in virtual communities and networks in real time irrespective of time or distance barriers.

Diffusion of Information and Communication Technology: The diffusion process of ICT includes the stages of introduction, adoption, diffusion and adaptation whether that applies within an organization or a society.

Humanware: The human element represents the most important building block in the ICT infrastructure and it is the determining factor in its development, growth and sustainability especially in a global, dynamic and competitive marketplace.

Electronic Commerce Readiness: Electronic commerce readiness indicates the ability of individuals and/or the community to use ICT for online transactions including payments, buying and selling of different products and services.

Public Private Partnership: The collaboration of different constituencies in the marketplace including the government, the public sector, the private sector and the civil society to help realize a change and a transformation in the development process, many examples of PPP have been successful within the ICT sector especially in the developing world.

Broadband: Broadband Internet access, often known as broadband is high-speed Internet access that is contrasted with dial-up access over a modem, wireless broadband is also becoming popular around the world.

Electronic Commerce: It is the delivery of goods, services, information, or payments over networks or any other electronic means, frequently considered as a subset to electronic business and sometimes both terms are used interchangeably.

Critical Mass: The volume of usage of different ICT tools and applications is an important determining factor in spreading awareness and in rendering such the level of ICT usage and deployment effective and efficient.

Building Blocks: The building blocks in ICT infrastructure reflects all the basic elements of the ICT industry including hardware, software, human resources, networking and information.

Electronic Business: It is a dynamic set of technologies, applications and business processes that link enterprises, consumers and communities through the electronic exchange of goods, services, transactions and information (technology enabled and technology-mediated).

Electronic Payment Systems: In the world of electronic commerce ePayment systems facilitate the purchase-selling process through either full or partial online payment transactions that have become vastly disseminated and popular due to the growing use of the marketspace.

Telecommunication Liberalization: The reform of the telecommunications environment through reducing or eliminating the monopoly of national carriers and creating a competitive environment is often referred to as the liberalization process which is to a certain degree a degree of privatization involving transferring all or some portion of the telephone service government to private ownership.

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