25 February 2022
ICT Minister Witnesses Signing Two MoUs with Microsoft to Support Decent Life Initiative, Education at EUI


The Minister of Communications and Information Technology Amr Talaat has witnessed the signing of two memoranda of understanding (MoUs) with Microsoft, in the presence of Corporate Vice President and President of Microsoft Middle East and Africa Samer Abu-Ltaif.

The first MoU, signed by the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT), is aimed at building the digital capacities of citizens in the villages targeted within the Decent Life initiative. Signed by Egypt University of Informatics (EUI), the second MoU targets introducing modern teaching methods and preparing EUI for the future to keep up with technological advancement and the standards of higher education in the 21st century.

In his remarks at the signing ceremony, the ICT Minister underlined that the cooperation would support MCIT efforts to bring the citizens in the villages targeted within the Decent Life presidential Initiative into ICT, qualifying them to compete in the labor market amid the knowledge economy. Decent Life is a unique project aimed at improving the quality of life for more than 58 million citizens in 4,500 villages within 36 months, he noted.

Talaat revealed that MCIT is keen to cooperate with major international companies to implement its capacity-building strategy. The cooperation between EUI and Microsoft would help develop digital skills and enhance the University's ability to create an interactive smart learning environment, thus improving the quality of education and spurring innovation among students, he added. EUI is a key driver for creating a high-caliber generation that would help bring about a paradigm shift in the ICT sector, Talaat stated.

For his part, the Deputy ICT Minister for Infrastructure and general coordinator of ICT operations in Decent Life Raafat Hindy explained that the MoU between MCIT and tech giant Microsoft, and the programs and contributions it involves to improve the competitiveness of citizens in the villages, would maximize the return on the state's investments in the ICT infrastructure in the villages targeted within the initiative. This is achieved through increasing the productivity and contribution of individuals to the national income and improving the country's performance on indices of digital readiness.

Microsoft realizes the paramount significance of building youth's capacities and upskilling them in the competitive labor market. A successful far-reaching digital strategy can only be fulfilled through having skillful youth and workforce capable of employing technology as necessary, Abu-Ltaif highlighted. He added that the cooperation with MCIT within the framework of the Decent Life initiative is a milestone in the partnership between the government and the private sector.

Abu-Ltaif said that the initiative plays a vital role in achieving comprehensive development and building a society where the digital divide between urban and rural areas can be bridged through concerting the efforts of all institutions. He added that the collaboration with EUI reflects the firm commitment of Microsoft to empowering students and educators with the skills needed for the future work environment, thus helping accelerate the digital transformation in Egypt.

Country General Manager of Microsoft Egypt Mirna Arif said that Microsoft is always proud of its ongoing partnership with MCIT. She stressed the Company’s firm commitment to building digital capabilities and enhancing employability to enable all people to harness the power of technology, thus supporting the transformation into a truly inclusive digital society. Arif added that the partnership with EUI would help build the capabilities of students and educators and equip them with in-demand skills in the 21st century, in line with the national digital transformation plan for all educational institutions.

For her part, the President of EUI Reem Bahgat highlighted that the MoU with Microsoft comes in EUI keenness and efforts to evolve through international, regional, and local cooperation with major entities in the fields of education, training, and industry. Under the cooperation, Microsoft will provide services for creating smart classrooms, implementing modern teaching methods, training students and equipping them with future-ready skills, and enable access to Azure Lab Services, which are first-class cloud computing and Artificial Intelligence (AI) services.

The cooperation between MCIT and Microsoft is aimed at developing the basic skills of the target groups in the villages of the Decent Life initiative. Skills are developed through carrying out specialized programs, including Digital Egypt Ambassadors, a program for helping small businesses grow, a program for honing women’s entrepreneurial skills, and digital literacy programs, with a special focus on women. The two sides also agreed on collaborating to support small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

The second MoU stipulates that Microsoft supplies EUI with technological programs that enhance its ability to introduce smart classes and create an enabling environment for upskilling students. In addition, Microsoft will provide technical guidance on implementing Microsoft Education Transformation Framework for Higher Education, enable the Microsoft Learn for Educators program, and provide students with educational and productivity tools. The cooperation also includes enabling the AI School program through the Microsoft Global Training Partner program, organizing cultural, educational, and development activities for top-performing students, and granting Microsoft Certifications to eligible ones.

EUI was co-founded by MCIT and the Ministry of Higher Education at the Knowledge City in the New Administrative Capital. EUI is the first specialized university in ICT and related fields in Africa.

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