4IR transition to prominently feature in PCP Egypt

4IR transition to prominently feature in PCP Egypt

CAIRO, 8 Jun 2021 – Within the framework of the recently-signed Programme for Country Partnership (PCP) Egypt, the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) organized a webinar on ‘Industry 4.0 in Egypt: Enhancing the Readiness for the Adoption of Industry 4.0’.

“The government looks forward to implementing PCP Egypt, which will foster mainstreaming Industry 4.0 and increase the integration of its technologies in the key industrial sectors”, said Dr. Rania Al-Mashat, Egyptian Minister of International Cooperation. “I invite all development partners to join forces and support the digital transformation of the country”.

Moderated by UNIDO Senior Research and Industrial Policy Officer Anders Isaksson and UNIDO Deputy UNIDO Representative Ahmed Rezk, the plenary session highlighted the positive and negative effects of the 4IR, including the automation and data exchange in manufacturing technologies; cyber-physical systems; the Internet of Things; improving competitiveness and economic growth.

“4IR accelerates the transition towards a higher value-added industry through digitization, advanced manufacturing technologies and efficient use of resources”, said Egyptian Minister of Trade and Industry Dr. Nevin Gamea. “Egypt thus encourages the actors of various economic sectors to adopt the technologies of Industry 4.0.”.

Industry 4.0 also brings new ways of production, which promotes the responsible production and consumption. However, the adoption of Industry 4.0 is expected to make some jobs redundant, which can be challenging for developing countries, but it could also bring new job opportunities in high-tech industries. Additionally, labour cost considerations will no longer be the sole driver of new Foreign Direct Investment (FDI).

“To help reap the benefit of Industry 4.0 technologies, the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology has created an enabling ecosystem, based on the digital transformation efforts, and has issued its national Artificial Intelligence strategy”, said Assistant Minister of Communications and Information Technology and Chief Executive Officer of the Information Technology Industry Development Agency (ITIDA) Amr Mahfouz. “Egypt also dedicated US$1.6 billion for this purpose”.

Following the plenary session, an Agroindustry session took place, which was moderated by UNIDO Research and Industrial Policy Officer Frank Hartwich, and which discussed the potentials and limitations of Industry 4.0 applications in the area of agriculture/agroindustry against the background of concrete examples. Thereafter, UNIDO Programme officer Sara Berlese moderated a session on textile, from the academic perspective to manufacturing and branding. In particular, the session pinpointed the new Industry 4.0 technology trends that could help Egypt increase productivity, resource efficiency and environmental sustainability.

“Among the six components of PCP Egypt, the Industry 4.0 Component together with the Policy Component will pave the way towards rapid inclusive and sustainable industrial development”, said UNIDO Deputy to the Director General Hiroshi Kuniyoshi. “UNIDO is committed to support Egypt in the adoption of advanced technologies”.

The discussions also addressed the implications of the COVID-19 pandemic. The concluding session brought all of the over 200 participants together and allowed to discuss suggestions for the next steps.

“The Government needs to design policies that, on the one hand, support enterprises in their uptake of these advanced technologies and that, on the other hand, help mitigating any undesirable outcomes on industry and society”, said Director and UNIDO Representative Bassel El-Khatib. “The educational sector will need to upgrade the curriculum it is offering to students to prepare them for the future requirements that Industry 4.0 is bringing”.

Please find the concept note here.

For more information, please contact:

Bassel El KHATIB, Director and UNIDO Representative, Regional Hub Office in Egypt

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Anders ISAKSSON, Senior Research & Industrial Policy Officer, UNIDO

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Ahmed REZK, Deputy UNIDO Representative, Regional Hub Office in Egypt

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The webinar recording is available here.