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Media | Economy - Development

Egypt meets software piracy head on

afrol News, 13 June - In a bid to provide a modern business environment, Egypt has taken a giant step in combating software piracy by reducing its rate by 60 percent through tightening grips on perpetrators, in the past year.

According to the fifth annual BSA and IDC Global Software study, the drop is an improvement of three percent per annum, placing Egypt's rating at one percent below global median piracy rating of 61 percent for 2007.

With this move, Egypt plans to be a leading outsourcing location for piracy free products. The report based on a study carried out in 108 countries, looks at the impact of piracy of all packaged software that runs on personal computers, including desktops, laptops and ultra-portables.

Software piracy is a worldwide problem and is a particular challenge in emerging markets, where rapid growth in first-time users leads to high consumer piracy.

The report points out that increased Internet use, especially broadband, leads to an increase in supply of pirated software and in many emerging countries, where institutional infrastructure is weak, education and enforcement can be difficult.

The initiative, backed by Egyptian Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT) and Information Technology Industry Development Agency (ITIDA), has made it possible for the country to arrive at its current state.

Egyptian minister of MCIT Dr Tarek Kamel, was quoted as saying, "Piracy is a global issue and here in Egypt we have been proactive in tacking the situation. Since the early 2000s we have been approving deals with vendors to provide software for government and educational use which has contributed to this latest drop in our piracy rating."

The country was last year voted by World Bank as top reformer in 2007 and not only will a reduction in software piracy help build its position as a leading outsourcing location but, according to an IDC report published in January 2008, a ten point reduction in Egypt's piracy rating over next 10 years will have a profound impact on the country's economy.

The report further states that an improved rating will create an additional 1,750 new jobs, $150 million in economic growth and $8 million in tax revenues in the country.

Over the past five years, Egypt's piracy rating has fallen from 69% in 2003 to 60% in 2007. As a result, it now has a lower piracy rating than some other leading global outsourcing locations including Morocco (67%), the Philippines (69%) and Bulgaria (68%).

Commending Egypt for its enhanced position in the global market, head of ITIDA Dr Hazem Abdelazim has said, "over the years, Egypt has worked hard to reduce piracy levels with a number of initiatives including Intellectual Property Rights training for prosecutors and the Egyptian courts of law and whilst there is still a long way to go, we are making good progress. Egypt has the potential to become one of the world's most attractive, dynamic and fastest growing locations for global outsourcing and off shoring and it is important that we, along with the MCIT and the Egyptian government, continue to support the development of the IT industry."

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