16 August 2008
20th IOI to Kick off Tomorrow in Egypt

Held for the first time in Egypt under the auspices of Egypt's President Hosni Mubarak, the 20th round of the International Olympiad in Informatics (IOI) is due to kick off tomorrow at Mubarak City for Education in 6th of October Governorate.

Senior Advisor to Minister of Communications and Information Technology for Human Resources and Training and Chairman of IOI 2008 Dr. Ekram Fathy said delegations from 77 participating countries have already arrived to Egypt to participate in the international contest which will be held from 16-23 August.

Dr. Fathy added that the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology have finalized all preparations and equipped the venue with 450 computers and communications networks in addition to advanced testing and evaluation programs.

Winners of the competition, Dr. Fathy said, will be announced during the closing ceremony due this Thursday August 21st.

About 320 contestants representing 80 countries and aged between 12–20 years are taking part in this year's contest, which marks the highest participation ever in the history of IOI. Each country is taking part with a four-member team, all qualified and trained on IT skills. Egypt is the only country participating with two teams, a privilege only given to the hosting country.
Every participating team is being supervised by a group of technology and software programming experts from international software corporations as well as university professors. 

The eight-day event includes entertainment activities, trips and tours inside Egypt's historical sites and cultural venues.

The event is organized by MCIT in cooperation with the Ministries of Education, Interior, Civil Aviation, Tourism and Higher Education and Scientific Research and Arab Academy for Science, Technology and Maritime Transport.

IOI is an annual international informatics competition for youngsters in one of the member states in the International Informatics Committee. The competition tasks are of algorithmic nature. Contestants, however, have to show basic IT skills like problem analysis, designing algorithms and data structures, programming and testing.
The idea of the competition was first introduced during the 24th General Conference of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in Paris by the Bulgarian delegate Professor Bojidar Sendov in October 1987. In 1989, the first IOI was held in Bulgaria to become an event hosted annually by a different country.

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