By Mohamed Alaa Eldin
Minister of Communications and Information Technology Atef Helmy launched the Tamkeen Initiative, aimed at supporting entrepreneurship, in collaboration with Google, at a conference held Sunday morning at the ministry’s Smart Village headquarters.
The Tamkeen Initiative is aimed at “empowering young people in terms of creativity and entrepreneurship for mobile applications”, furthering the abilities of Egyptian youth to develop software and mobile applications. The initiative will also particularly support the growth of start-ups in the field of information technology, and create opportunities for youth in this field.
Another goal of the project includes enhancing developers’ skills and training them on the most up-to-date technology available on global markets, and providing a competitive work force. The project will also maximise the benefit from the volume of work expected in this industry to promote the spread of mobile phone and application culture in the Arab world.
Helmy said that small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are the backbone of the economy, and thus must be focused on in the coming period.
Helmy added that the ministry has more than 20 work plans, three of which will create a digital society and make Egypt a global Internet centre. He explained that the project would not be completed without human resources trained in the most modern global technologies, and for that reason the ministry is currently focusing on supporting creativity and entrepreneurship.
He pointed out that Egyptian society is currently facing a significant challenge in publishing mobile applications, because mobile phone penetration rates exceed 100%. He noted that this initiative represents Google’s first real contribution to Egypt in the field of entrepreneurship, which will generate many positives for Egyptian society.
The Tamkeen Initiative includes a set of programmes that aim to provide 2,000 training scholarships for online learning in the field of application development. Recipients will be granted internationally accredited certificates and regular competitions will be held amongst participants for promising ideas.
Awards will be granted to 10 start-ups, and 12 individuals will receive monetary prizes. The initiative will provide specialised Egyptian trainers for supervision and guidance, and a number of professional events are planned to be held in order for youth to meet with innovators, trainers, investors, and those working in the mobile application industry. This will help the youth find work opportunities or form partnerships and alliances.