The Egyptian Ministry of Communications and Information Technology and Google announced today the launch of a program dedicated to empowering innovation and entrepreneurship as well as growing the mobile app developer community through training Egyptian youth and providing competitive calibers. The initiative aims to stimulate growth of tech startups and to avail job opportunities for the Egyptian youth.
The program will be led by the MCIT and Google along with other international and local educational stakeholders over the period of two years. The Middle East and North Africa region has one of the largest installed bases of smartphone users globally (75 million) which is expected to grow rapidly in the next three years. Usage of apps on mobile is also growing fast and this presents a big business opportunity for app developers in the region.
Minister of Communications and Information Technology, Eng. Atef Helmy, declared that we work to develop a strong digital society by building our youth capabilities and innovations in using modern technologies and entrepreneurship. This initiative implemented by MCIT in collaboration with Google as a model to strengthen &utilize the partnership with global competitive partners. Moreover it will support and embrace the innovation in developing mobile application among youth, where we see enormous potential in the Egyptian youth and therefore constantly keen to develop its capabilities
Mohamad Mourad, Regional Director for Google in the Middle East and North Africa region, said: We are very excited to launch this program in Egypt; it is one of our biggest initiatives in the country to date. We see enormous potential in the existing talent in Egypt and want to help develop the country’s top mobile developers and put them on a fast-track to growth. We are eager to provide the platform, resources, mentorship and training that developers need to succeed.
The program will engage with Udacity, a global premier provider of online courses (Massive Online Open Courses -- MOOCs) aimed at unlimited participation and open access through the web. The Udacity platform will be localized along with select courses on mobile app development. Up to 2000 students will receive scholarships and will have access to dedicated coaches located in Egypt who will be trained by certified instructors in the US.
The initiative will focus on three areas:
Scalable education: This stage includes localizing the Udacity platform and coaching students, as well as conducting road shows and building mentorship communities through student support networks. The Udacity platform and the courses available will remain open to all Arabic-speaking developers in the region in perpetuity. Students who successfully complete the Android Development Fundamentals course will be course-certified and will receive a bonus..
Top talent nurturing: This stage includes developing an advanced curriculum for top students, awarding individuals and team performers, and connecting them with incubators, investors and mentors. Competitions will also be held to identify the most promising developers and startups, with more than ten startups and 12 individuals to receive monetary prizes.
Career facilitation: This stage includes developing a matchmaking platform which connects students with potential employers and the developer community, as well as organizing CV/interview clinics and career fairs.
Mobile usage has seen positive growth in Egypt, with people using their smartphones for a wide range of activities such as browsing, gaming, communication, etc. with a large part of their time spent on apps (84% globally). Third-party studies show that 60% of smartphone users in Egypt are online daily with their devices and half of these users play online games.