24 January 2022
ICT Minister Witnesses Signing MoU to Promote Digital Community Development for Citizens in Beni Suef

The Minister of Communications and Information Technology Amr Talaat and the Governor of Beni Suef Mohamad Hany Ghoneim have witnessed the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT) and Beni Suef Governorate at its general bureau. The aim is to promote sustainable digital community development and build citizens’ digital capabilities using ICT tools.

The MoU is in line with MCIT strategy for contributing to the implementation of the national plan to build the Egyptian citizen and bring about digital transformation. This is achieved by building the capacity of and upskilling young people in various fields to attain digital community development in a way that helps boost the Egyptian digital economy.

Talaat stated that MCIT is implementing several projects in Beni Suef, including projects for building digital capacity—the mainstay of development. The ICT Minister and Beni Suef Governor and leaders discussed developing the training programs offered at New Beni Suef Technology Park, with the aim of transforming it into a hub for preparing specialists in various ICT fields. The Park will boast an ICT training facility and a business incubator for startups, with the aim to foster technological innovation and entrepreneurship.

Beni Suef is also hosting a telemedicine project for rendering decent health services to citizens living far from central hospitals. This is in addition to infrastructure projects, including developing post offices and connecting government buildings through a fiber-optic network, which is implemented by Telecom Egypt. MCIT is also carrying out projects in villages in Beni Suef, as part of Decent Life initiative.

Talaat referred to a joint project for achieving digital transformation in Beni Suef by developing the work system at the governorate’s general bureau capitalizing on ICT, with the aim to make digital services available to citizens. He added that building a Samsung tablet factory is a major milestone for Beni Suef to become an electronics hub. Talaat revealed that MCIT, the Ministry of Education, and Samsung have agreed to cooperate to establish a school for training in electronic design and manufacturing in Beni Suef.

Work within the MoU is based on three main pillars; the first is aimed at building the capacity of and upskilling 1,000 graduates in ICT through digital literacy programs, so they can fill freelancing jobs. This is in addition to organizing training programs to meet society needs, following new mechanisms of support, mentoring and follow-up. Such programs will be organized in collaboration with government agencies, civil society organizations (CSOs) and multinational and private companies, with the aim of qualifying young people for the highly competitive labor market.

The second pillar involves promoting e-learning by accrediting 12 e-learning centers affiliated with government agencies and CSOs, within Cisco Networking Academy, with the centers to be affiliated with the Central Department for Digital Community Development at MCIT. This is in addition to accrediting 80 trainers and administrative officers and training 1,000 people through e-learning centers.

The second pillar aims to increase learners’ confidence in e-learning, raise individuals and institutions’ awareness of its benefits, and encourage CSOs, institutions and bodies concerned with community development to promote and adopt e-learning on a wide scale. To fulfill those objectives, the parties to the MoU will cooperate to train students, graduates, and faculty members at Beni Suef University to create e-content and produce digital lessons, targeting 100 trainees specialized in e-content production. The parties will also co-organize five sessions for 500 people to promote e-learning and train them to use educational content services and applications, helping create job opportunities in this field.

The third pillar lies in empowering women in digital marketing and e-commerce through Qodwa-Tech initiative, contributing to supporting and empowering women economically and socially using ICT tools and applications. In this regard, the MoU provides for training 300 craftswomen and women entrepreneurs on social media marketing, as well as upskilling 700 ladies through sessions in digital marketing and e-commerce.

The MoU was signed by the Head of the Central Department for Digital Community Development Hoda Dahroug and Deputy Governor of Beni Suef Bilal Habash.

Following the signing ceremony, the ICT Minister had an open discussion with a group of young people who joined MCIT training programs. Talaat listened to a detailed explanation from members of the first batches that received the freelancing training organized in collaboration with Misr Public Library, Beni Suef branch. The trainees talked about their experience with the training program, which provided them with awareness and training and helped them match their developed skills to those needed in the freelancing market to land better job opportunities.

Talaat also talked to some of Beni Suef University’s students and graduates who benefited from the training on e-learning and content creation. They ascertained that the e-learning and distance learning programs implemented through e-learning centers in the Governorate, in collaboration with Beni Suef University, were highly beneficial.

Furthermore, women entrepreneurs who received training as part of Qodwa-Tech initiative highlighted the role of the initiative in boosting and upscaling their small businesses governorate-wide. Qodwa-Tech aims to equip women entrepreneurs and craftswomen with digital marketing and e-commerce skills.

At the end of the meeting, the ICT Minister and Beni Suef Governor honored the young people who joined MCIT programs.

Moreover, Talaat and Ghoneim inspected a telemedicine unit at Beni Suef Specialized Hospital. The unit acts as a service receiver in the telemedicine system, which is implemented within the framework the telemedicine presidential initiative carried out in partnership between MCIT, the Ministry of Health and Population, and the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research.

Beni Suef is one of the first governorates to host telemedicine units, as part of the ongoing cooperation between MCIT and Beni Suef to improve the quality of healthcare using ICT. Seven telemedicine units are operating in the governorate, in addition to a unit in Beni Suef University Hospital. The units are linked to other units in university hospitals providing telemedicine services, where senior doctors at those university hospitals are contacted to remotely diagnosis cases. Hospitals and health units are technologically connected to provide the service.

Telemedicine units employ ICT to improve the quality of health services provided to citizens, alleviate their burdens, provide better diagnostic and full medial services to people in remote areas without the need to travel long distances. The units also help upskill and better qualify doctors by allowing the exchange of expertise among health care providers.

The ICT Minister and Beni Suef Governor visited the promenade along the Nile Corniche. They agreed to cooperate to develop its infrastructure and provide it with internet coverage.

It is worth noting that Talaat visited, today, Samsung tablet factory in Kom Abu Rady industrial zone, El Wasta district, Beni Suef. He is also planning to open three post offices and pay an inspection visit to Telecom Egypt store and New Beni Suef Technology Park. 

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