Egypt: Going High Tech

By Brindle, Simon | The Middle East, April 1993 | Go to article overview

Egypt: Going High Tech


Brindle, Simon, The Middle East


Simon Brindle reports on the state of the computer industry in Egypt, on recent legislative developments and the potential to develop indigenous high tech export oriented industries.

COMPUTERISATION HAS come piecemeal to Egypt as it has to other developing countries. Today, Egypt's computer market is estimated at around $200 million a year with a substantial potential for growth. However, imports still account for well over 90% of sales.

Sales of mainframe computers in 1991 were about US$40 million or 20% of the total. The market is dominated by three leading multinationals - IBM, ICL and NCR - each of which have branches in Egypt. Other installed mainframe systems were purchased directly from suppliers abroad. Most systems in use in Egypt are either all-purpose or high speed systems. These generally cost in excess of $1 million each and are able to support up to 128 users in a commercial environment. While mainframes are expected to play a major role in the medium term, with an estimated average real growth of 20% a year over the next three years, market share in the longer term is expected to decline as users rely more on smaller, less costly machines to handle data processing tasks.

Sales of software in Egypt, which includes office automation software, games, spreadsheets, graphics, cad/cam and networks were about $6 million in 1991 and accounted for about 3% of the total market. However sales have been increasing at about 25% a year and are expected to increase further with the expanding market of first time users. An estimated 90% of software is imported from the United States with the remaining 10% (mainly Arabic language software) developed locally.

US software developers have been victims of widespread computer software piracy in Egypt as they have in other developing countries and the need has been felt to lobby the government for greater protection. Under the so-called "Special 301" provisions of the US Trade Act of 1974, the US Trade Representative (USTR) is required to identify foreign countries that deny "adequate and effective protection of intellectual property rights".

The provisions classify such countries into "priority," and "priority watch list" countries. The former are those countries whose practices are considered to have the greatest adverse impact, actual or potential, on US products and which the USTR considers are not making significant progress in bilateral or multilateral intellectual property negotiations. "Priority watch list," countries are those whose acts, policies and practices meet some but not all the criteria for "priority" identification.

Egypt was placed on the "priority watch list" in 1991 because of what USTR considered to be deficiencies in its patent, copyright and related laws as well as significant enforcement problems. In addition to the fact that Egypt did not specifically protect computer programmes, USTR considered that terms of protection were too short and penalties too weak. USTR pointed out that although the Egyptian government had stated in 1989 that a new patent law was under consideration, at the time of the USTR investigation in 1991 legislation had still not been submitted to parliament.

According to Khaled el Shalakany, an Egyptian lawyer who spent four years at IBM as a computer engineer before taking up law, recent amendments to the original copyright law 354 of 1954 have introduced stiffer penalties for software piracy. Under the amendments contained in Law 38 of 1992, first time offenders now face fines ranging from $1500-$3000 and possible imprisonment while second time offenders face fines of $3000-$15,000 and mandatory prison sentences of up to three years. While the new legislation has been welcomed by USTR and US and other foreign software developers, El Shalakany points out that the original law in so far as it encompassed "any innovative expression of the human mind", was sufficient and there was actually no need for express reference to computer programmes in the amendments.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Egypt: Going High Tech
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.