The Minister of Communications and Information Technology inaugurated today the conference for activating the role of Telecentres in community development, organized by Egypt ICT-Trust Fund, jointly established by the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT) in cooperation with the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), with the sponsorship of Microsoft Egypt.
The conference witnessed the attendance of the consultant to the minister of culture for IT affairs Abdel Halim Bahgat representing the Minister of Culture Abdel-Wahed El-Nabawi, the Chairman of the General Authority of Cultural Palaces Mohamed Abdel Hafez Naser and the Chairman of Egypt’s Public Libraries Ambassador Abdel Raouf El Reedy. This is in addition to a number of representatives for ICT companies and authorities, managers of cultural palaces and public libraries, as well as representative of civil society organization and Telecentres.
The conference is in line with the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT) general strategy that seeks to build a comprehensive information society by means of maximizing benefits of ICT, creating an Egyptian industry in the field to support sustainable economic and social development and freeing services, thereby creating a competitive Egyptian market able to mingle into the global economy and partner with the private sector, civil society organizations and NGOs. This is in addition to providing integrated ICT services to provide latest services to citizens.
In his speech, Negm has said that MCIT strategy is in line with the new trend towards technology development projects to serve and support citizens as a key goal by means of promoting the role of technology to effectively contribute to community development.
Launched in 2000, Telecentres project was part of MCIT national plan to allow technology tools for all community members, particularly in deprived and marginalized areas, as means to build their capacities and develop their skills. The first phase of the project sought to provide IIT tools by establishing IT laboratories and clubs. The second phase aimed to adopt with technology tools and applications through basic training programs.
The current phase focuses on merging clubs with training programs. This is in addition to incentive services for innovation and creating job opportunities in the belief of the significance and strength of human resources, particularly youth, and their ability to transform their energies to effective ones for building societies by enhancing their efficiency and preparing them for the job market through acquainting them with ICT applications, Negm has said.
MCIT established around 2163 Telecentres nationwide, in cooperation with cultural palaces, universities, youth centers and others to promote the use of ICT tools in the society.
Citizens can benefit from visiting Telecentres and avail their services such as using computers, accessing internet and other digital technology tools through which they can collect information, learn and innovate, communicate with others, and develop their basic digital skills to support economic, educational, societal development of the community.
Regional Director of Egypt ICT Trust Fund and Hoda Dahroug has said that new methodology of Telecentres are represented in making ICT available, enhancing societal awareness for all community members and promoting the building of institutionalized capabilities for organizations sponsoring Telecentres, thereby raising their capacities and making them able to achieve sustainability for the service of the community.
This is achieved by providing a set of training programs and services that ensure financial resources and attain comprehensive community development with ICT applications, programs and tools.
Dahroug has said that Telecentres are places to promulgate thoughts, innovation and entrepreneurship, as well as providing knowledge, technical and administrative support for institutions sponsoring Telecentres, thus raising their capabilities and human resources’ efficiency and qualifying them for the job market after a study is conducted to learn about community needs and a bundle of suitable training courses are offered.
She has added that ICT Trust Fund works on developing and promoting Telecentres through a clear vision and a strategy based on particular fundamentals to overcome the digital gap and make it serve citizens and the community by actively engaging them to contribute to development.
During the conference, joint agreements were signed between ICT- Trust Fund and the General Authority of Cultural Palaces and Egypt’s Public Libraries, to be implemented in 19 cultural palaces and 14 libraries to develop and modernize Telecentres. The third agreement was signed with Microsoft Egypt through the initiative “Egypt Works” that aims to assist youth to learn and build their capacities through some resources and online free educational grants.
During a panel discussion, services and trainings offered through Telecentres were presented. Future partnerships with a number of pioneering local and international companies in this domain such as Oracle, Cisco, IBM, Mobinil and Vodafone to develop curricula and training material for all segments of the Egyptian society were announced.