In the framework of the state's keenness on empowering People with Disabilities (PwDs) and socially integrating them to be active members in the community, Egypt, represented by the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT), has been selected among the ten most innovative countries in employment policies for PwDs, winning the 2017 Zero Project prize. The prize is awarded to projects that remove barriers and obstacles between PwDs and the community through innovative solutions.
The Zero Project prize is awarded by the ESSL Foundation, in partnership with the World Future Council (WFC) and the European Foundation Center (EFC). MCIT has been selected by the Global Initiative for Inclusive Information and Communication Technologies (G3ict), where its "Training and Rehabilitating PwDs for Better Job Opportunities" project has won the prize. The project succeeded in training 500 people with visual and hearing disabilities on telemarketing, data entry and computer basics. More than 60% of those trained PwDs have been employed in the first phase of the project; and the second phase is currently underway, targeting increasing the number of trainees and employing them nationwide.
More than 60 international experts participated in evaluating the projects where Egypt, the USA, Canada, Australia, Malaysia and Saudi Arabia were selected this year to win the prize. The ICT Ministerís Advisor for Social Responsibility and Services Abeer Shakweer received the award, in a ceremony held during the Zero Project Conference 2017 at the UN headquarters in Austria. Shakweer made a presentation on MCIT experience in training and employing PwDs to enable them technologically. The award ceremony was attended by the Ambassador of Egypt to Austria Omar Amer.
This project is part of an integrated strategy developed by MCIT to enable PwDs, incorporating and empowering them in different areas of life, including education, training, employment, access to health services, and the development of assistive technology in Arabic. MCIT has won many awards in the field of empowering PwDs such as the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) prize. In addition, MCIT was, previously, honored by the Arab Organization for Social Responsibility (AOSR).