Information technology in Egypt is on the rise, with ICT leaders and industry experts pushing for e-voting to be introduced in the country. The new plans were revealed at Intel’s “Egypt Tomorrow – IT Vision for a Brighter Future” conference.
The conference was promoted as an open discussion on the first steps toward how ICT can be a stepping-stone for democracy and freedom in future Egyptian elections.
The speakers sought possible ways in how technology can play a role in achieving democracy. “E-voting is not a dream,” says Gamal Gheitas, Editor-in-chief of Loghat al-Asr Magazine and IT Editor at al-Ahram.
“We need to build the right foundation first by centralising voters’ information in order to ensure that the elections are conducted fairly and without manipulation.”
Gheitas added that synchronizing information from all groups and ministries is an important step in creating a database of voters, which would then be linked to a National ID database for potential voters.
Intel Egypt’s Business Development Manager Hicham Arafa says ICT can be instrumental in facilitating parliamentary and presidential elections and that it can help in the development of e-government and e-democracy.
“Elections are a crucial instrument in achieving democracy,” says Sherif Hashem, Executive Vice-President of the Information Technology Industry Development Agency (ITIDA).
“E-voting is a vital step in achieving e-democracy. Our role is to try and assist in building the right infrastructure to accommodate the new technology in the years to come,” says Hashem.