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PanAfriL10n - PanAfrLoc - Egypt

Egypt - Egypte - مصر (EG)

1.  Language information / Données sur les langues

1.1  Languages spoken / Langues parlées

a) Official / Officielle(s) :

Standard Arabic

b) National, indigenous / Nationale(s), indigène(s) :

Colloquial Egyptian Arabic is the main spoken language.

Ethnologue lists 11 living languages at http://www.ethnologue.com/show_country.asp?name=EG

c) Relevant pages in the Major Languages section of this report / Pages appropriées dans la section de ce rapport sur les Langues principales :

Arabic, Nubian

1.2  Language policy / Politique de langue

a) Laws/legislation / Lois/législation :

The site L'aménagement linguistique dans le monde has a page on Egypt at http://www.tlfq.ulaval.ca/axl/afrique/egypte.htm

b) Agencies / Agences :

c) Languages in education/literacy / Langues dans l'éducation/l'alphabétisation :

UNDP (2006) gives a literacy figure (without reference to which language[s]) of: 71.4%

1.3  Writing in national/indigenous languages / Ecriture en langues nationales/indigènes

a) Orthographies / Orthographes :

Arabic script is of course used for Arabic. The Coptic language (liturgical for the minority Coptic Christian community, and no longer a living language) has a script based on Greek. There is also an old Nubian script, similar to Coptic, and there is some interest in reviving its use for the Nubian languages.

b) Print publications / Editions imprimées :

Egypt is certainly one of the most, if not the most important centers for publishing in Arabic.

A list of Egyptian newspapers with links is available at http://www.arabo.com/links/,227,213,209/,213,205,221/

1.4  Other comments / Autre commentaire

The University of Cairo has an African languages program of note, with some involvement in use of ICT.


2.  ICT situation / Situation des TIC

2.1  Infrastructure / Infrastructure

a) Telephones / Téléphones :

  • Fixed lines:
    • Telephone mainlines: 104 per 1000 people (APC)
    • Telephones - main lines in use: 10.396 million (2005) (CIA)
  • Mobile subscriptions:

b) Radio stations / Stations de radio :

Radio broadcast stations: AM 42 (plus 15 repeaters), FM 14, shortwave 3 (1999) (CIA)

c) Connectivity / Connectivité :

  • International internet bandwidth / Bande passante internationale d'internet :
  • ISPs / FSI :
  • Internet hosts :
    • According to CIA, 2,254 (2006)
  • Geographic coverage / Couverture géographique :

2.2  Computer & internet access / Accès aux ordinateurs et à l'internet

a) Computers & points of access / Ordinateurs et lieux d'accès :

  • Number of computers / Nombre d'ordinateurs: 15.5 per 1000 people
  • Cybercafés / Cybercafés:
  • Project telecentres / Télécentres de projets:
    • Several years ago, the UNDP funded 3 "Technology Access Community Centres" (TACCS) in Egypt [seeking more information]

b) Internet / Internet :

  • Dial-up subscribers / Abonnés par ligne téléphonique :
  • Internet users / Utilisateurs de l'internet : 5,000,000 Internet users as of Dec/05, 6.9% of the population, per CIA (Internet World Stats)

c) Other / Autre :

  • Digital Opportunity Index (DOI): 0.38 (ITU 2006)

2.3  ICT policy / Politique de TIC

The Ministry of Communications and Information Technology was established in 1998 and is the lead government agency for ICT policy http://www.mcit.gov.eg/

"The Egyptian government has made information and communications technologies (ICTs) a developmental priority and has modernised and upgraded the sector's infrastructure, services, regulations and human resource capacity." (Hassanin in GISW 2007) Liberalisation of the telecommunications sector is a key aspect of policy.

Egypt has had an ICT plan since 1999: "National Plan for Telecommunication and Information" http://www.uneca.org/aisi/nici/Documents/egyptnational_it_plan.doc . According to UNECA/AISI (2005?), the main objectives are:

  • Create a vibrant and exportable CIT [communications and information technology] industry
  • Support the development of a state-of-the-art national telecommunications network that provides an enabling environment for business and electronically links Egypt with the rest of the world.
  • Increase employment opportunities in the communications and information technology sectors
  • Build an information society capable of absorbing and benefiting from expanding sources of information
  • Develop and upgrade CIT systems to improve standards of living and support competitiveness in international CIT market

More information on Egypt's ICT policy and related information is available at:

The APC page, "ICT Policy in Egypt" has some information and links:

2.4  ICT4D/E & ICT training / TIC pour le développement/éducation, et formation en TIC

WikiEducator has a page on ICT and education in Egypt at http://www.wikieducator.org/ICT4Africa/Country_Report_Egypt

2.5  Resources / Ressources

ICT info http://www.emich.edu/ict_usa/EGYPT.htm

Egyptian Information, Telecommunication, Electronics and Software Alliance (EITESAL) http://www.eitesal.com/ (EITESAL was formed through the merger of the top two existing associations, the Egyptian Hi Technology Association (EHITA) and the Egyptian Software Association (ESA) in November 2003)

Internet Society of Egypt (ISOC chapter) http://www.ise.org.eg/


3.  Localisation situation / Situation de localisation

3.1  Country web content / Contenu web du pays

There are many sites in the .eg domain. (See also ICT infor in 2.5, above)

3.2  Web content in indigenous languages / Contenu web en langues indigènes

Significant number of sites in Arabic or with Arabic content. Egypt is a centre for localisation of all sorts into Arabic language.

3.3  Software localisation / Localisation de logiciel

Major commercial software is available in Standard Arabic.

3.4  Projects & organisations / Projets et organisations

3.5  Localisation policy / Politique de localisation


4.  References / Références

APC, "ICT Policy in Egypt," Africa ICT Policy Monitor, http://rights.apc.org/africa/index.shtml?apc=s21804e_1 ("Politiques de TIC en/au Botswana," Observatoire des politiques des TIC en Afrique, http://afrique.droits.apc.org/index.shtml?apc=s21804e_1 )

Hassanin, Leila. "Ëgypt." Global Information Society Watch (GISW) 2007 Report http://globaliswatch.org/en/node/455

International Telecommunications Union (ITU). 2006. World Information Society Report 2006. Geneva: ITU. http://www.itu.int/osg/spu/publications/worldinformationsociety/2006/wisr-web.pdf

______. 2004. African Telecommunication Indicators 2004. Geneva: ITU.

Internet Systems Consortium (ISC), "Distribution of Top-Level Domain Names by Host Country, Jan 2007" http://www.isc.org/index.pl?/ops/ds/

Internet World Stats: Africa. 2007. http://internetworldstats.com/africa.htm

Leclerc, Jacques. L'aménagement linguistique dans le monde, "Égypte," http://www.tlfq.ulaval.ca/axl/afrique/egypte.htm

SIL International, Ethnologue: Languages of the World, "Languages of Egypt," http://www.ethnologue.com/show_country.asp?name=EG

UNDP. 2006. ''Beyond scarcity: Power, poverty and the global water crisis. Human Development Report 2006.'' New York: United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). [Human development index Adult literacy rate (% ages 15 and older) (HDI) http://hdr.undp.org/hdr2006/statistics/indicators/3.html ]

UNECA/AISI (2005?) "NICI Country Pages: Egypt" http://www.uneca.org/aisi/nici/Egypt/egypt.htm

U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), "The World Factbook: Egypt" https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/eg.html

Vodafone. 2005. "Africa: The Impact of Mobile Phones." The Vodafone Policy Paper Series, Number 3, March 2005. http://www.vodafone.com/assets/files/en/GPP%20SIM%20paper.pdf

WikiEducator, "ICT4Africa/Country Report Egypt," http://www.wikieducator.org/ICT4Africa/Country_Report_Egypt

Wikipedia, "Languages of Egypt," http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Languages_of_Egypt


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