Ministry of Communications and Information Technology
29 May 2021
ICT Minister Witnesses Announcing New Partnerships with Major Tech Companies within DEBI

The Minister of Communications and Information Technology Amr Talaat has witnessed the announcement of new partnerships and the signing of memoranda of understanding (MoU) between the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT) and four multinational technology developers operating in Egypt, namely Dell Technologies, Vodafone Egypt, Kaspersky and Huawei Technologies.

The aim is to upskill the students of Digital Egypt Builders Initiative (DEBI), which was launched by MCIT to upskill the top graduates at the faculties of engineering and computers and information, and equip them with the science and hands-on experience necessary to obtain a professional master's degree in one of the in-depth specializations in ICT.

Talaat stressed that capacity building is one of the key pillars of MCIT strategy, as part of the efforts to create a broad base of in-depth and skilled competencies in different ICT fields to build Digital Egypt and enhance the country’s position on the ICT map. DEBI culminates these efforts; it aims to create specialists in ICT, unprecedentedly, through an integrated educational program based on four pillars.

The first pillar is collaborating with top-notch universities to hone the technical skills of the initiative participants. The second is developing their personal skills in cooperation with major international companies and institutions specializing in developing management skills; while the third is collaborating with major specialized companies to develop the participants’ language skills so that they can communicate with people from all over the world. The fourth pillar is providing access to hands-on training through establishing partnerships with leading ICT companies.

The ICT Minister said that all elements of the ICT sector and the information society in Egypt partner up to carry out a successful initiative, achieving a mutual benefit for all elements of the system. This includes the participants receiving high-end training, and the government sector, which will benefit from the initiative outcomes, including the creation of a generation of specialists in various ICT sciences and specializations. The local companies, startups and large firms operating in Egypt will also benefit from the initiative that will create trained and skilled people who meet the requirements of the local labor market and are able to compete in the regional and global markets.

Dell EMC Egypt General Manager Tarek Heiba highlighted that Dell Technologies aims to create technologies to drive human advancement, adding that Dell Egypt is closely committed to achieving the country's vision of diversifying the economy through advanced technology infrastructure, skills development and innovation.

Dell always explores the initiatives that help bring about positive change, and already realizes the significance of building the workforce of the future and equipping students and youth with the knowledge and skills they need to successfully participate in the digital economy, Heiba added.

The MoU between MCIT and Dell aims to support DEBI, which targets upskilling the students in emerging fields, such as data science, data analytics and Artificial Intelligence (AI). The two sides will also cooperate to organize awareness sessions and webinars, while giving the students the opportunity to participate in training hackathons and hands-on experimental tutorials.

Through working with students, Dell can identify challenges and provide solutions capitalizing on new technologies and innovative business models, as well as shape the ICT leadership in Egypt's digital future, said Heiba.

For his part, the Enterprise Business Unit Director (EBU) for Vodafone Egypt and Member of Vodafone Egypt’s Executive Committee Mohamed Abdallah said that his company is proud to partner with MCIT to support DEBI, reflecting Vodafone's strategy in supporting digital transformation across various sectors.

The role of Vodafone Egypt in DEBI contributes directly to building the capacity of the initiative participants to qualify them for the labor market and future jobs in IT and digital transformation in Egypt to fulfill Digital Egypt strategy. Vodafone Egypt will provide the participants with practical training programs delivered by experts from Vodafone Egypt and Vodafone Academy, for learning IT, cybersecurity and modern technologies. This is in addition to developing business incubators that support startups, providing technical advice, sponsoring and financing graduation projects, facilitating communication and sharing knowledge through the company’s different platforms.

The partnership with Kaspersky aims to equip young Egyptians with the cybersecurity skills and training they need to become specialists in this vital field within the IT sector. This comes in light of the increased rate of cyber threats associated with the ongoing technological development, which requires cybersecurity experts to work to address and mitigate such threats. This also reflects the need to train students digitally to become cybersecurity experts in different State sectors. Under such partnership, Kaspersky will carry out multiple educational initiatives for both students and professors.

Kaspersky Managing Director for the Middle East, Turkey and Africa Amir Kanaan said that he is pleased with Kaspersky being a strategic partner in digital security technologies, joining forces with MCIT to implement DEBI. He added that the initiative was built on the premise that today's youth will help shape the future.

Kanaan highlighted that his company is pleased to provide young graduates with a platform that allows them to develop their skills and enrich their knowledge through comprehensive training and specialized educational activities. The partnership will reflect the importance of concerted efforts and knowledge exchange between government agencies and companies to build a better tomorrow for all, he added.

Furthermore, the collaboration with Huawei Technologies aims to provide educational courses in technology for the initiative participants, in addition to providing a training track in AI, big data, cloud computing and network security, with the academic content and practical training available through virtual laboratories. The collaboration will also help connect companies with DEBI graduates through organizing job fairs to help the graduates find excellent job opportunities.

Huawei Egypt CEO Vincent Sun stated that his company is proud with its partnership with MCIT in carrying out DEBI, since Huawei is fully aware that investing in people, especially youth, is the foundation of all aspects of development. Sun added that with the start of Huawei’s work in Egypt, more than 20 years ago, the company has been keen to launch many programs and initiatives for young people to help them become world-class leaders in ICT, and bring about Egypt’s digital vision.

From MCIT, the MoUs were signed by the Deputy ICT Minister for Infrastructure Raafat Hindy. From the companies’ sides, the MoUs were signed by Dell Technologies Vice President and General Manager, Egypt Center of Excellence (COE) Magued Mahmoud; Vodafone Egypt External Affairs and Legal Director Ayman Essam; Kaspersky Enterprise Sales Manager – NEA Khaled Mohamed, on behalf of Kaspersky Managing Director for the Middle East, Turkey and Africa Amir Kanaan; and Huawei Egypt CEO Vincent Sun.

The signing ceremony was attended by the Advisor to the ICT Minister for Technological Talents Hoda Baraka, and officials from both MCIT and the four companies.

DEBI was launched in September 2020. It is a free scholarship offered to the top graduates of Egyptian universities, who graduated less than five years ago, from the faculties of engineering, departments of computers, electronics, communications, or medical; the faculties of computers and information; or the faculties of sciences, math or computer departments, nationwide.

DEBI graduates get to obtain a professional Master's degree from top-notch universities, in disciplines including AI and data science, cybersecurity, robotics and automation, and digital arts. This is in addition to training certifications from major tech firms, as well as certificates in leadership, administration and English language skills.

Students of the Spring 2021 Semester started studying at the University of Ottawa in Canada in early May, with the course including AI and data science, robotics and automation, and cybersecurity. The students also completed the courses in leadership, administration and English language skills, provided by Dale Carnegie and Berlitz, as well as the training programs provided by multinationals, including Amazon Web Services (AWS), Cisco, IBM, Microsoft and VMware.

The initiative included organizing orientation sessions for the students and graduates at the target faculties in some national universities, in Alexandria, Giza, Cairo and New Valley. More sessions are to be organized to include the target faculties in most universities nationwide.

The Summer 2021 Semester will start in early June, while the admission to Fall 2021 Semester will open in early July.

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

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