27 January 2021
ICT Minister Witnesses DEBI First Class Orientation Session

The Minister of Communications and Information Technology Amr Talat has delivered a talk at the first orientation session organized by the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT) for the students enrolled in Spring 2021 Semester, the first semester of Digital Egypt Builders Initiative (DEBI).

DEBI is a state-funded scholarship for granting the top graduates at the Faculties of Engineering, and Computers and Information a professional Master's degrees in Artificial Intelligence (AI) and data science, cybersecurity, robotics and automation, and digital arts. This is in addition  to training certificates from international technology companies, a certificate in leadership and management skills and one in the English language. The initiative provides a 12-month course of study, divided into three semesters.

The session was attended by a number of officials from the ICT sector, representatives of international companies, DEBI partners and students of the first class.

The ICT Minister underlined that DEBI comes in MCIT keenness to equip young people with technology skills, so they can participate in the Digital Egypt projects that MCIT carries out in cooperation with all the state sectors to augment Egypt's position on the global ICT map. DEBI also comes as part of the efforts to create jobs for the youth and boost innovation-based digital exports, he added.

Talat stated that MCIT capacity building strategy aims to develop the quantity and quality of training through following a pyramidal approach. It starts with providing a broad base of young people short training in basic skills to enable them to deal with modern technologies and master their work. The training is organized in youth centers, targeting 20,000 young people.

A longer in-depth training is then provided for freelancers to hone their skills and compete in the labor market. Examples of such training is the Future Work is Digital (FWD) initiative, and another one in AI, implemented along with the École pour l'Informatique et les Techniques Avancées (EPITA) in France, highlighted the ICT Minister.

Moreover, MCIT is currently establishing Egypt University of Informatics (EUI) at the Knowledge City in the New Administrative Capital. EUI will cooperate with top international universities to graduate a new generation of young people capable of achieving a breakthrough in the ICT industry, Talaat added.

The ICT Minister said that DEBI represents the top of the pyramid designed to develop distinguished young people who represent the first generation of experienced professionals in all the ICT areas needed by the labor market, who can compete at the international level. The initiative provides a full-fledged program that includes an academic course, hands-on training and language and personal skills, delivered in collaboration with major international universities and specialized companies to create a whole set of skills.

During the session, the Advisor to the ICT Minister for Technological Talents Hoda Baraka presented the components and regulations of the initiative, as well as the disciplines provided in the first class of Spring 2021 Semester that is scheduled to start on February 1. The role of the international companies in providing hands-on training, certificates and programs in leadership, management and English skills, was also presented during the session.

It is worth mentioning that DEBI students get to receive a hands-on training provided by technology leaders in Egypt, including IBM, Cisco, VMware, Microsoft and Amazon Web Services (AWS). This is in addition to an academic course for granting a joint professional Master's degree through international universities, such as the University of Ottawa in Canada, and The Ohio State University in the U.S. Partnerships were also established with international organizations in Egypt, including Dale Carnegie and Berlitz, to develop the students' soft and language skills.

Furthermore, MCIT and the Ministry of Youth and Sports signed an agreement of cooperation to use the latter’s Civil Education Center and Gezira Youth Center as DEBI preliminary premises, where the initiative activities and a fitness and wellness program for the initiative participants will be organized.

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