8 February 2023
ICT Minister Delivers Speech at GGJ 2023 Closing Ceremony

The Minister of Communications and Information Technology Amr Talaat has delivered a speech during the closing ceremony of the Global Game Jam (GGJ). For the 11th consecutive year, GGJ 2023 was hosted by the Game Development Academy of the Information Technology Institute (ITI) at its premises in Smart Village, on February 3-5.
The event was organized as part of the activities of the International Game Developers Association (IGDA) - Egypt Chapter.
The ICT Minister highlighted that the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT) is providing an enabling environment for innovation in the game development industry, in line with Egyptian society, with educational, cultural, and scientific impact. He clarified that game development is a knowledge intensive, innovation-driven industry.
The ICT Minister underlined the creativity and innovation of Egyptian youth in this promising industry. He pointed to MCIT efforts to enrich human calibers in the game development industry, build youth capacity in game design and development as well as digital arts, and encourage them to create e-games. He added that e-games have a positive role in advancing ethical values and helping students acquire knowledge, and cultural and ethical values.
Talaat stated that MCIT is investing in technical training for youth, in light of the state’s vision to invest in talents to achieve development in all fields. He revealed that ITI provides training courses in different in-demand technologies and skills in game development. ITI also launched the Game Development Academy to provide specialized courses in this industry via Mahara-Tech platform, he pointed out.

Talaat also referred to the Faculty of Digital Arts and Designs at Egypt University of Informatics (EUI). He explained that ITI will provide free courses in game development specializations at Creativa Innovation Hubs nationwide.
The ICT Minister pointed out that an initiative was launched to equip young talents with the skills required to join game development start-ups. This is in addition to training startups’ employees in the economic aspect, including marketing, pricing, preparing a feasibility study, and target markets.
Moreover, Talaat noted that Telecom Egypt Club is being developed, not only a social and sports club, but also as a game development hub in Egypt. The Club will include game halls and an incubator for start-ups specializing in game development, and it will host game development competitions. Telecom Egypt Club also has a team specialized in game development. The team made remarkable achievements and earned prizes in several competitions.
In his speech, Talaat said that violent video games must be curbed by raising awareness and providing better alternatives.
GGJ is the world’s largest game creation event organized simultaneously in over 100 countries. This year, the three-day event brought together 500+ participants to create video games. GGJ 2023 included several sessions that addressed game development, in terms of design, programming, and animation, as well as specialized lectures presented by Unity and Unreal global game engines.

Lectures in marketing and how to make money as a game developer were also delivered within the event, in addition to sessions on creating children games, the role of interactive media and game arts in visual effects, Metaverse and its applications in game development.
For her part, ITI Chairwoman Heba Saleh stated that game development is a promising industry. She described the efforts made to enrich the e-content in the game development industry, as well as the most prominent training programs offered by ITI Game Development Academy in game development specializations through global partnerships.
Saleh pointed to the four-month scholarship, which include two tracks: XR Developer and XR Artist, held at ITI branch in Creativa Innovation Hub at Cairo University. She referred to the new services provided for younger generations at ITI premises in the Knowledge City to introduce them to game development.
During the closing ceremony, the ICT Minister met with game developers, officials from start-ups specializing in this industry, who are based in Cairo and other governorates, ITI trainees who are professionals in game design and development, and game studio owners as well as other trainees of tech scholarships. They delved into the visions, ideas, and aspirations of youth to develop their capabilities in this industry, as well as MCIT efforts to boost the game development industry and foster the startups specializing in this field.
The meeting shed light on the volume of the game development industry, studios, and startups owned by ITI graduates or others. They presented projects and products of game studios in Cairo and different governorates, that employ game technologies, Metaverse, and global engines. The products are used for entertainment, educational and other purposes, helping meet the demand of the Egyptian and Arab markets.
Talaat commended the determination and innovation of Egyptian game developers, who set an excellent example of true Egyptian values, and of valuing history, culture, heritage, and ambitions for a science and technology-based future.
It is worth noting that ITI Game Development Academy is the first academy in the Middle East to offer specialized programs in game development, design, and programming. The Academy earned a Guinness World Record as the site with the largest number of participants in a game jam (single location), in 2016 and 2018. Game Development Academy offers rich online content in game development skills and specializations on Mahara-Tech and grants international certificates in specialized programs in partnership with Ubisoft.
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