26 September 2020
ICT Minister Honors Four Medal Winning Team at IOI

The Minister of Communications and Information Technology Amr Talaat has witnessed the closing ceremony of the 13th edition of the Egyptian Olympiad in Informatics (EOI), organized by the Arab Academy for Science, Technology and Maritime Transport (AASTMT). He was received by the Governor of Alexandria Mohamed El Sherif, and AASTMT President Ismail Abdel Ghafar.

The ICT Minister honored the Egyptian team sponsored by the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT) for winning four international medals (one silver and three bronze medals) at the 32nd edition of the International Olympiad in Informatics (IOI). The IOI was organized by Singapore, online, joined by 347 participants, representing 87 countries. This is the first time for all members of the Egyptian team to win medals in the IOI.

The ceremony was attended by the Deputy ICT Minister for Institutional Development Ghada Labib, the Acting CEO of the Information Technology Industry Development Agency (ITIDA) Amr Mahfouz, the chairwoman of the Information Technology Institute (ITI) Heba Saleh, the Director of the National Telecommunication Institute (NTI) Iman Ashour, and a number of officials of MCIT and AASTMT.

The ICT Minister, in his speech, stated that the excellent result reflects the great importance that MCIT attaches to supporting digital excellence and developing and building the digital skills of Egyptian youth, to increase their chances to compete in international ICT activities. He said that the country greatly supports this file, to help find innovative technological solutions to the challenges facing the society, and to improve the chances of young Egyptians for meeting the requirements of the labor market and future jobs.

Talaat praised the innovation young Egyptians, who are able to stand out from their peers if given the opportunity. He added that the world is witnessing an unprecedented shift in the labor market and the skills it requires, and so MCIT has an integrated plan that includes many initiatives that target providing specialized training for Egyptian youth at different ages and with different academic backgrounds. Talaat called for the attending youth to join those initiatives and acquire freelancing skills and knowledge, to help Egypt occupy a prominent place in the ICT industry.

The ICT Minister, in addition, announced the start of preparations for organizing and hosting the first African olympiad in informatics, in Egypt, in light of the state's efforts to support, foster and train African youth in programming and technology.

For his part, Abdel Ghafar commended the competition as one of the major events in Egypt and an ideal model of the joint work between AASTMT and MCIT, supported by AASTMT and the ICT Minister. He highlighted that AASTMT Informatics Center plays a remarkable role in this field.

Students should be ambassadors of their countries, said Abdel Ghafar, stressing that youth are the true treasure that we trust in and are proud of.

Winners include Mohamed Ehab Morsi, 18, and Osama Ayman El Khodery, 17, from Gharbia Governorate; Mohamed Ahmad Bakri, 16, and Hazem Tariq Issa, 18, from Alexandria Governorate. The result achieved is the best since MCIT started sponsoring the teams participating in this Olympiad, increasing Egypt's tally of medals to 23 (six silver and 17 bronze).

In 2008, Egypt organized the IOI and won a bronze medal. The IOI is one of the major international competitions in the field of software and methods for systematic solution to all kinds of problems, targeting school students around the world.

The IOI is held annually in one of the participating countries, where each country is represented by four students, in addition to two supervisors. The participating students go through different five-hour assessments, individually, over two days. During the assessments, students program and solve three problems, on the computer, the idea of which is based on programming and using systematic solution methods (computer algorithms).

The stages of selecting the contestants to participate in the IOI include passing several qualifications. It begin with testing thousands of students from Egyptian schools, nationwide, to select the top students for joining MCIT grant for training students in programming and methods of systematic solution to all problems of various kinds. The grant includes 45 hours of training, carried out in cooperation with AASTMT, ending with selecting the top 100 students to participate in the EOI, then the top 20 for the qualifiers for the selection of the participating team in the IOI.

Relevantly, MCIT announced the launch of the 13th edition of EOI during the period September 22-26, at AASTMT headquarters in Alexandria. EOI is the most important competition in computer algorithms, programming and methods of systematic solution to all problems of various kinds, targeting school students. The competition helped spot exceptional youth in ICT, most of whom received scholarships abroad and some are currently working in major international software companies such as Facebook, Google, Microsoft and others.

During the ceremony, 50 students were honored for winning eight gold, 14 silver and 28 bronze medals in the EOI 2020.

Abdel Ghafar presented the AASTMT trophy shield to the ICT Minister, in appreciation of his remarkable efforts to achieve productive cooperation between MCIT and AASTMT.

The ICT Minister took a tour in AASTMT headquarters in Abu Qir, accompanied by Abdel Ghafar. The tour included visiting the Planetarium, the Integrated Simulators Complex and the College of Engineering and Technology.

As he explored the technology projects implemented by the students, showcased on the sidelines of the ICT Minister's visit to AASTMT, Talaat directed for studying the possibility of Telecom Egypt and the Information Technology Industry Development Authority (ITIDA) sponsoring one of the students’ innovative projects, which is the ROV project for building a submarine for the first time in Egypt. It was implemented at AASTMT Maritime Research and Consultation Center, with the aim to explore oil and sunken monuments in Alexandria, and examining the bottom of ships in Egyptian ports. This invention can be used in repairing and maintaining submarine cables, said the ICT Minister.

Furthermore, the ICT Minister directed for cooperation between innovation centers and technology incubators at MCIT, to sponsor a number of projects of the Academy students, in cooperation with AASTMT Center of Entrepreneurship. This includes “Your Health Safety” initiative for supporting the health sector and Persons with Disabilities (PwDs) in Egypt. The initiative aims to design and implement a smart, mobile "remote" healthcare unit that works with clean and renewable solar energy.

The product is powered with Artificial Intelligence (AI) and smart embedded systems, linked with Internet of Things (IoT). The first mobile application, that also works on a e-platform, tracks the smart telemedicine unit on Google Maps. The product was enhanced through linking to digital platforms.

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