The Potential Role of the Software Industry in Supporting Economic Development

The Potential Role of the Software Industry in Supporting Economic Development

Sherif H. Kamel (The American University in Cairo, Egypt)
Copyright: © 2019 |Pages: 12
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-7661-7.ch035


Emerging information technologies provide a solid and promising platform to support economic development. In that respect, the information and communication technology sector has been one of Egypt's strongest economic sectors with increasing prospects for job creation, productivity, scalability, impact, and growth. One of the subsets of ICT, the software industry, is gradually becoming more visible, stronger, and mature in terms of output and impact both locally and beyond. Software is arguably the best entry platform for developing nations, like Egypt, into the global ICT production complex. Local companies and startups in the software development space have started their operations over the last decade trying to capture a segment of the regional and global market opportunities. This chapter assesses the developments in the software industry in Egypt and the potential role it can play as a contributor to economic development through the establishment of an export-oriented outsourcing software industry capitalizing on one of Egypt's primary resources, human capital.
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The ICT sector in Egypt has been steadily growing since the late 1980s. During the period 2011-2012 given the political developments that took place in the country there was an apparent slowdown in all economic aspects, including ICT. However, in 2013, the minister of ICT expected the sector to go back to its double-digits growth by the end of 2014 to match the growth that was taking place during the period leading to the fiscal year 2009-2010. Moreover, it would come at an ideal time as a solid platform and a strong and effective support mechanism to the overall economic revival of Egypt. For the long term, projections indicate that by 2017-18 annual growth rate will reach 20% and will account for 6% of the gross domestic product (GDP) and the sector will help create 500,000 jobs (Helmy, 2013). These projections naturally change on a regular basis. However, judging from the potential and trends in the marketplace, there is enough evidence that the software industry is probably on course to meet these set objectives.

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