Amr Talaat, Minister of Communications and Information Technology, witnessed the closing ceremony of the first edition of the Capacity Building Initiative for Universities in the field of Artificial Intelligence at the Digital Egypt Creativity Center in Giza.
The initiative comprised 500 students from five universities, namely Cairo University, Ain Shams University, the American University in Cairo, the German University in Cairo, and the Arab Academy for Science, Technology and Maritime Transport.
The closing session of the initiative included a hackathon held on improving water efficiency in Egypt using artificial intelligence, with the participation of 60 students representing 10 teams from participating universities in the first session of the initiative.
Talaat said that the importance of the initiative is that it is related to one of the most important specialties of communications and information technology, which is artificial intelligence.
He explained that Egypt advanced 7 places in the global index of artificial intelligence issued by Tortoise Media, which specializes in the field of artificial intelligence.
It also advanced 17 places in the indicator of skills related to artificial intelligence; Pointing to the state’s efforts to promote the use of artificial intelligence, as a national council for artificial intelligence was formed that included the parties concerned with this technology, and a national strategy for artificial intelligence was developed, according to the minister.
Talaat added that the initiative embodies constructive cooperation between the elements of the information society, namely the government sector, the academic community, the private sector, and creative youth, stressing that success in the communications and information technology industry is evident in the adaptation of technology to make an impact and to face the challenges facing society in its various sectors.
He pointed out that the ministry continues to launch more training programs in cooperation with major international companies and academic institutions to expand the base of cadres capable of adapting various technologies, including artificial intelligence, to serve the various sectors of the country, as well as expanding programs that target all groups of school students, university students and graduates, as well as to encourage young people from different scientific backgrounds to join the ICT sector and take it as a professional path.
He referred to the ministry’s efforts to encourage youth to innovate and think creatively to adapt technology to serve society through the establishment of Egypt’s Digital Creativity Centers to be a destination for every young person who has an idea he aspires to turn into a company. He explained that 6 centers were established, and the number was doubled within two years to reach 12 centers. He stressed that 20 centers will be reached in 20 governorates by the end of this year.
Ghada Labib, Deputy Minister of Communications and Information Technology for Institutional Development, indicated that the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology was keen to ensure that the capacity-building initiative for universities in the field of artificial intelligence is not limited to building the capabilities of students and preparing trainers and participating professors but should also include a practical application. Therefore, the Applied Innovation Center was used to ensure application on topics related to the sustainability of resources. Topics about smart government, smart cities, and smart agriculture were chosen. The topic of optimal water use was also chosen to be the focus of the competition that was organized at the end of the first session of the initiative.
Ahmed Tantawy, supervisor of the Applied Innovation Center, confirmed that the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology is keen to benefit from and apply modern technology. He explained the importance of what the Capacity Building Initiative provides to universities in the field of artificial intelligence by linking science to practical application in innovative projects that have a positive return on society, praising the projects implemented by the students participating in the first session of the initiative.
Maged Mahmoud, Vice President and General Manager of Centers of Excellence at Dell Technologies, explained that the initiative is one of the strategic initiatives because it is related to the field of artificial intelligence, which is witnessing rapid development and increasing its impact on the level of all fields, and thus highlights the importance of providing competencies in this specialization to help young people obtain job opportunities in a way that has a positive impact on the communications and information technology sector; pointing out that the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology has identified issues that represent a priority to work on within the initiative; He added that the first session of the initiative included activities to guide students through specialized experts, so that they are aware of all modern technological developments.