Ministry of Communications and Information Technology
7 November 2021
ICT Minister Attends Graduation Ceremony of NAID Summer Internship Program

The Minister of Communications and Information Technology Amr Talaat has attended the graduation ceremony of the Summer Internship program in assistive technology (AT), launched by the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT) and implemented by the National Academy of Information Technology for Persons with Disabilities (NAID), in collaboration with Ain Shams University’s Innovation Hub (iHub).

The program reflects MCIT keenness to support research and development (R&D) in assistive technology to empower Persons with Disabilities (PwDs) and support their social inclusion.

The ceremony was attended by NAID Chairman AbdEl-Monem El-Sharkawy, members of NAID executive board, iHub Director Mohamed El-Behairy, former Dean of the Faculty of Engineering at Ain Shams University and iHub Board Member Diaa Khalil, faculty members from Cairo and Ain Shams Universities, and officials from MCIT.

During the ceremony, the ICT Minister said that the ICT sector is one of the top sectors with soaring rates of innovation and entrepreneurship. The sector attracted investments worth $390 million in startups during the first three quarters of this year, compared with $190 million dollars last year. Investments are expected to exceed $400 million by the end of this year, which indicates the sector's ability to nurture innovative thinking and adapt ICT to tackle the challenges facing society.

Talaat said that MCIT was keen to establish NAID given the significance of fostering innovative thinking to empower PwDs.

Furthermore, the ICT Minister highlighted that the event reflects MCIT vision: building Digital Egypt is not the responsibility of one specific ministry, but requires cooperation and synergy between different state institutions and all elements of the information society. The event brings together MCIT, representing the government sector, and Ain Shams University, representing academia, with private companies and creative young people capable of harnessing IT to develop innovative solutions that offer added value.

Talaat added that the ICT sector thrives depending on its ability to adapt various technologies to serve society, especially PwDs.

At the end of his speech, the ICT Minister said that he looks forward to the graduates’ promising ideas being turned into viable products to help PwDs with their day-to-day activities. He underlined that MCIT fosters technological innovation since it is one of the key pillars of its strategy for adapting assistive technology to empower PwDs and place Egypt as a regional and international leader in that field.

The Internship comprised five training tracks: mobile applications, web development, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IoT), and cloud computing. The program graduated 100 young people including university students and fresh graduates from the faculties of engineering and computer science, from different governorates.

During the ceremony, two inspiring models in assistive technology as part of NAID business accelerator program were presented.

The ICT Minister honored the top assistive technology projects implemented by the graduates of the Internship. Alpha won first place for creating a recruitment platform that helps link PwDs with employers and features accessibility tools for the blind and those with limited hand mobility.

Overflow won second place. The team developed a device that helps people with limited hand mobility to use the computer by only moving their heads. The third-place winner was Terminators, a team that developed an innovative solution for people with quadriplegia, involving an eye-controlled electric wheelchair. Beavergeeks won the AI Award; the team implemented a project that facilitates communication among the deaf and hard of hearing capitalizing on AI in transforming sign language into text and vice versa.

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