Members of the Silicon Trust met with representatives of the Egyptian government’s Ministry of State for Administrative Development led by Tarek Saad Badr, program director, National Databases Program at the Cardex trade show in Cairo last week.
During the talks, the government outlined its plans for an eHealth programme that it expects to bring online in the next few years. “The government realises that due to the complexity of a national eHealth program, significant research is necessary before it can launch a programme for the benefit of all its citizens,” says Detlef Houdeau, Infineon Technologies’ representative for the Silicon Trust. “However, it has taken serious steps towards making such a scheme a reality, and we look forward to engaging with the government over the coming months to help its procurement plans move forward.”
“The Middle East is a very dynamic market for secure-based technologies,” says Dr. Houdeau. “From biometrics used for national ID cards across the Gulf region to EMV cards used for payment as well as a host of other applications, the region offers numerous opportunities for card and biometric-based suppliers. It is pleasing to see that the Egyptian government is keen to add its name to the list of states providing enhanced digital services to its citizens.”
“The number of [smart card-based] deployments is growing year-on-year in both Europe and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) area,” says Dr Houdeau. “However, there are still challenges for the industry. We need to develop, qualify and certify the security microcontrollers for each market – and they must be ready in time for governments to deploy them. Furthermore, the industry needs to support every level of the value chain: from software development companies to system integrators and border control manufacturers. We must continue to foster field trials, interoperability and conformity tests, and ensure that cardholder security is maintained at all times.”
Silicon Trust members present at Cardex included reader manufacturer DUALi, smart card manufacturers Trüb, Giesecke & Devrient, and Gemalto, consultants HJP Consulting and ID document printer SAFE ID Solutions.