Ministry of Communications and Information Technology
11 April 2021
ICT Minister Meets DEBI Students

The Minister of Communications and Information Technology Amr Talaat has met with Digital Egypt Builders Initiative (DEBI) Spring 2021 Semester students during his visit to the initiative venue at the Civil Education Center and Gezira Youth Center.

The initiative targets the top graduates of the Faculties of Engineering, and Computers and Information, with the aim to develop their skills and grant them a Master's degree from top international universities, in data science and Artificial Intelligence (AI); cybersecurity; robotics and automation; and digital arts. The  initiative provides a comprehensive program that includes hands-on training, and language, leadership and management skills training, in collaboration with major international specialized companies.

During the meeting, the ICT Minister underlined that DEBI is implemented as part of an all-encompassing strategy to create the digital competencies required by the local and the international labor markets, capable of undertaking the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology’s (MCIT) plans to make Egypt a leader in digital technologies, where citizens can have access to different services and perform their financial transactions using those technologies, in a way that  augments Egypt's capabilities in exporting digital services.

Talaat presented the pillars of Digital Egypt strategy and MCIT initiatives for supporting digital transformation, one of which is DEBI. He said that a three-year training strategy was developed according to a pyramidal approach, the base of which is providing programs for a large number of trainees, promoting digital literacy, where they can utilize and harness digital technology in their work.

The next level is providing specialized training in ICT to build digital capacity and bridge the divide between education and the labor market requirements. The pyramid then goes up to an in-depth training in one of the technology disciplines; followed by a range of specialized initiatives, most notably Egypt University of Informatics (EUI) in the New Administrative Capital, which is the first specialized ICT university in Africa and the Middle East.

Talaat said that the top of the pyramid is represented in DEBI, which aims to equip a generation of innovative people with integrated scientific, soft and language skills and hands-on experience from the partner companies of the initiative, which enhances the participants’ competitive advantages in regional and international markets. DEBI enables graduates to choose their careers and supports them to achieve their career goals. 

Following his speech, the ICT Minister had an open discussion with the initiative participants where he listened to their questions, inquiries and views on the progress achieved so far, as well as their proposals and visions on the most in-demand skills for honing their skills and qualifying them to carry out Digital Egypt projects.

The Advisor to the ICT Minister for Technological Talents Hoda Baraka discussed the progress achieved in the leadership, management and language skills programs and trainings provided by international companies, including Amazon Web Services (AWS), Cisco, IBM, Microsoft and VMware.

The meeting was part of the first team building day, organized within the leadership and management skills program, where the students get to apply what they learn through scientific programs and activities.

The meeting was attended by the Undersecretary of the Ministry of Youth and Sports Ahmed Afifi, DEBI Executive Director Ahmed Farag, and DEBI team, including members from MCIT and the Ministry of Youth Sports.

DEBI first semester, Spring 2021, started in February with online courses due to the precautionary measures taken by the government to overcome the pandemic. Study at the initiative venue started on March 23.

In the AI major, so far, 37 students received Microsoft Azure AI Engineer Associate certification, and 37 received Microsoft Azure Data Scientist Associate certification. Another 37 received IBM Predictive Analytics certification, and 19 received AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner certification.

In cybersecurity, 31 students received Microsoft Azure Security Technologies certification. In robotics and automation, 22 students received AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner certification, and 22 received AWS Certified Solutions Architect certification.

In addition, 110 students joined different levels of the English language program provided by Berlitz; while 110 students completed Dale Carnegie's leadership and management skills program, in topics including communication, presentation, public speaking and leadership skills, Return on Investment (ROI), corporate business development, and an introduction to business concepts and key business functions.

The ICT Minister took a tour at the initiative venue in Gezira Youth Center and the Civil Education Center. The venue includes eight equipped classrooms and laboratories for studying cybersecurity, AI, robotics and automation, as well as administrative office rooms and halls.

It is worth mentioning that an agreement of cooperation within DEBI was signed by the Information Technology Industry Development Agency (ITIDA) and the University of Ottawa in Canada, to offer a professional Master's degree in electrical and computer engineering. The program is scheduled to start in May for Spring 2021 Semester students, in three disciplines: AI, cybersecurity, robotics and Internet of Things (IoT).

Moreover, a protocol of cooperation was signed between MCIT and the Ministry Youth and Sports for hosting DEBI activities at venues affiliated to the Ministry of Youth and Sports, and for implementing a fitness and health program for DEBI participants.

Registration for the Summer 2021 Semester is open until April 15. The Semester starts on June 1.

For more information about DEBI, please call 15388, or visit DEBI website.

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