15 November 2008
MCIT Signs Cooperation Agreement with HP on Training 100,000 Employees on ICDL

Minister of Communications and Information Technology Dr. Tarek Kamel along with Minister of Education Dr. Yousry El-Gamal, in the presence of Ken Willett, Vice President of Hewlett Packard (HP) Middle East, Mediterranean and Africa (MEMA), witnessed today the signing ceremony of a cooperation agreement between Ministry of Communications and Information Technology and HP on the training of 100,000 specialists working for the health, trade and education sectors on basic IT skills.
The trainees will receive the International Computer Driving License (ICDL) upon completion of the training courses. The above sectors had been lately added to benefit from the initiative. 
Dr. Ekram Fathy, Senior Advisor to Minister of Communications and IT for Human Resource Development and Training, and Mr. Ahmed Samy, General Manager and Managing Director of HP Egypt, co-signed the agreement.  
Dr. Kamel said MCIT is committed to go on with its integrated program of training young calibers, graduates and employees through cooperating with other ministries, agencies and civil society entities to meet the needs of the employment market, which has been witnessing a rapid growth in the past years.
The certification, he noted, aims at increasing the Egyptian workforce competitiveness in the international employment market.
Our strategy, Dr. Kamel added, aims to create a ground of highly trained and qualified human calibers. Egyptian talent is one of the major sources of national income, he reflected.
On his part, Mr. Willett said he hoped that cooperation between HP and Egypt will extend to reach other sectors in Egypt.
Mr. Willett added that HP is a major company with regards to manufacturing IT products for end users, offering integrated solutions and services to a wide spectrum of businesses.
This agreement comes under the umbrella of the ICDL initiative implemented cooperatively among MCIT, Ministry of State for Administrative Development, Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research, the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and European Computer Driving License (ECDL) Foundation.
The project, kicked off in 2006, aims at granting one million citizens ICDL certificate within five years as of the agreement date. Another purpose is to eradicate IT illiteracy in all age groups and social segments, which in turn helps maximize the productivity of all employees utilizing computers in their fields. 
A total of 145,000 recent graduates, school students, teachers and administrators and university students, professors and administrators as well as other civil servants have acquired the ICDL so far.
The Egyptian Government, represented by MCIT, bought the testing system from ICDL/ ECDL. The tests will be offered either for free or at a minimum cost. The UNESCO supervises the testing process and undertakes the quality assurance.
ICDL is an internationally accredited certificate that is issued by the UNESCO. More than 144 countries across the globe acknowledge ICDL tests. The certificate is an international indicator for quality assurance and assessment of the competencies and skills of end beneficiaries.
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