3 December 2023
ICT Minister Meets Entrepreneurs, Trainees at Creativa Innovation Hub in Minya

The Minister of Communications and Information Technology Amr Talaat and the Governor of Minya Osama El-Qady have met with entrepreneurs, freelancers, trainees, and graduates of the capacity-building and innovation programs offered by the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT), at Creativa Innovation Hub in Minya.

The meeting was attended by the President of Minia University Essam El-Din Farhat and officials from MCIT and Minya Governorate.

Creativa Innovation Hub was established by MCIT at Minia University to provide specialized ICT training and create an enabling environment for digital innovation and entrepreneurship for university students, graduates, and youth in Minya.

During the meeting, the ICT Minister revealed that the visit aims to assess the impact of MCIT training programs on building the capabilities of youth, enabling them to compete in the labor market. The labor market has been evolving and is now open to countries worldwide, the ICT Minister pointed out, encouraging youth to keep pace with these advancements and develop their skills by receiving training and gaining experience to be able to compete in the global labor market.

Talaat added that MCIT is building youth capacity, qualifying them to find job opportunities beyond geographical boundaries, and providing training coupled with job opportunities. He emphasized that Creativa Innovation Hub welcomes youth with different specializations and academic backgrounds, empowering them to work in the ICT sector and supporting their abilities in harnessing IT to serve their careers and specialties.

The ICT Minister pointed out that there is a skills shortage in ICT worldwide, which creates tremendous opportunities for Egyptian youth to join the global labor market. Egypt has become a favorable destination for digital services exports, becoming the third-best offshore BPO location, the ICT Minister highlighted.

Talaat underscored that the ICT sector achieved digital exports worth $4.9 billion last year, with a target set to hit $9 billion in 2026. He noted that the Ministry is keen to develop the digital infrastructure nationwide to enable youth to work remotely.

The Deputy ICT Minister for Institutional Development Ghada Labib presented the most prominent achievements and future plans in cooperation projects between MCIT and Minya Governorate in digital institutional development and digital transformation. She referred to the Ministry’s digital institutional development efforts in Minya to create a new work model that ensures the sustainability of digital transformation, and build a safe, productive, and sustainable interactive digital community.

MCIT trained 542 employees in the governorate, affiliated directorates, districts, and surrounding villages, with 806 certificates handed over. Digital upskilling programs were also implemented for 9,738 citizens, covering 13,495 tracks. Furthermore, digital awareness sessions were also organized for 10,424 citizens in about 192 villages targeted within the Decent Life initiative in Minya. Around 1,087 employees relocating to government complexes in these villages were also trained and upskilled according to the latest standards and in partnership with national and international institutions.

In August 2022, MCIT signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Minya Governorate on implementing digital institutional development projects in the governorate’s general bureau, affiliated entities, and service directorates. The MoU aims to implement digital awareness activities for citizens in the governorate, especially in the villages targeted within the Decent Life initiative for developing the Egyptian countryside. The aim is to promote digital literacy and foster the economic empowerment of citizens, guaranteeing a decent life.

For his part, the CEO of the Information Technology Industry Development Agency (ITIDA) Ahmed Elzaher explained that ITIDA, through the Technology Innovation and Entrepreneurship Center (TIEC), is creating an enabling environment for promoting entrepreneurship and innovation among youth in all governorates at Creativa Innovation Hubs.

Elzaher highlighted that ITIDA trained over 310 freelancers in 2023, with a total number of more than 700 freelancers since the operation of Creativa Innovation Hub in Minya in 2021. Over 113 freelancers managed to secure jobs in Egypt, with some landing hard-currency-paying freelancing jobs.

The total number of trainees at the Hub in Minya reached 5,729, and about 138 startups and 729 entrepreneurs were also supported, Elzaher stated. He said that ITIDA implemented several activities through Athar, the current operator of the Hub in Minya, in line with the Agency’s strategy to foster cooperation with the private sector.

The Chairwoman of the Information Technology Institute (ITI) Heba Saleh showcased ITI plans and work at Creativa Innovation Hub in Minya. She pointed to the most prominent indicators of ITI training programs provided within the Hub to youth from all over the governorate and the positive impact, including creating job opportunities and empowering youth with the skills required for the freelancing and remote work markets.

Saleh emphasized that in one year and two months, the number of beneficiaries of ITI activities and career consultancy services increased from 4,800 to 9,600 people, a 100% increase rate. Additionally, the revenue achieved by freelancers, ITI graduates, increased 163%, from $26,000 in August 2022 to $68,500 in December 2023. In addition, the number of technical and applied programs’ beneficiaries increased 150%, from 2,000 to 5,000.

Saleh noted that ITI offers training programs within Creativa Innovation Hub in Minya in six technical specializations related to the freelancing market.

During the meeting, graduates of the programs offered by MCIT and its affiliated entities at Creativa Innovation Hub shared their experience in developing their skills by joining training programs within the Hub. One graduate explained how the programs helped him land a decent job in a bank and a specialized company. Another graduate shared his experience as a freelancer working remotely for a US-based company.

A freelancer in attendance praised the programs offered at the Hub, highlighting their effectiveness in preparing him for the global freelance market. These programs granted him the flexibility to choose both his preferred work time and projects.

Two female entrepreneurs, owners of tech startups incubated at Creativa Innovation Hub in Minya, shared their success stories. One of whom is the owner of Khalteleyal, a childcare startup in Upper Egypt. She explained the services provided by her startup and appreciated the support offered by the program in developing her idea and expanding her business. She further stated that she was honored by the President of the Republic during his visit to Minya Governorate.

Another entrepreneur, the owner of Learning Rockets, shared plans for expanding into Africa. She showcased the startup's services offered through an application that focuses on teaching the English language to kindergarten and first to third-grade students.

Following the meeting, Talaat and El-Qady inspected the labs at Creativa Innovation Hub in Minya to explore MCIT activities and training programs. The programs provide technical training, develop the technological skills of university students and graduates in Minya, prepare youth to meet the requirements of the local and global IT labor markets, and create an enabling environment for digital innovation and entrepreneurship.

It is worth noting that the ICT Minister is visiting Minya Governorate today to open and inspect several MCIT projects. He inspected the Fiber to the Home (FTTH) project in Al Azhari Village, El-Adwah Town, within the framework of the Decent Life initiative. The ICT Minister attended a digital awareness session organized for citizens in Maghagha. He also opened the historical Maghagha Main Post Office after being renovated and developed.
Talaat is due to open Matay Post Office after its development. He will also inspect the work progress at the developed Telecom Egypt store in Minya telephone exchange.
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