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ICT Trust Fund organizes the Sustainable Development in Rural Areas Conference

The Sustainable Development in Rural Areas Conference was held on the 31st of March 2016, under the auspices of H.E Eng. Yasser El Kady, Minister of CIT in Egypt, and General Magdy Hegazy, Governor of Aswan. The Conference was organized by the ICT Trust Fund, under the slogan “Technologically Enabled Communities @ Nuba,” and was held in the Convention Center in Smart Village. Experts from various international organizations and governmental institutions were in attendance, as well as members of the civil society and the private sector.

Conference Objectives:

·         Enabling the exchange of expertise and best practices between international and local actors such as government entities, civil society, and private sector members in the sustainable development field by using ICT’s in addressing developmental concerns of remote regions

·         Showcasing the methodology and best practices of the Integrated ICT for Development in Nuba Project, which is being implemented by the CIT Trust Fund as a holistic developmental model for a technologically empowered community.

·         Discussion on various methods to ensure the sustainability and scalability of the project in its current location, as well as others.

H.E Minister of Communications and Information Technology beard whiteness to the signature of two MOU during the conference that aim at ensuring the sustainability and continuation of the Project. The two MOUS were

·         A tripartite MOU between the ICT Trust Fund, the Industrial Modernization Center (IMC) and E- finance company, aiming at supporting the production of vocational crafts by enabling their access to international markets through availing e-finance technologies thus supporting the creating of an Egyptian competitive market in the global economy.

This MOU was signed by Eng. Ibrahim Sarhan, CEO of E-finance Company, Eng. Ahmed Taha, CEO of IMC, and Eng. Hoda Dahroug, Regional Director of the ICT Trust Fund, and Acting Manager of the Central Division for Community Development at MCIT

 

·         The second MOU was between the ICT Trust Fund and the Faculty of Medicine Kasr El Ainy, Cairo University. The MOU aims at improving the quality of medical services offered in remote regions. The service relies on cloud technologies in facilitating the management of health systems as well as providing medical services for citizens.

The MOU was signed by Dr. Tarek Anis, Dean of the Faculty Graduate Studies and Research at  the Faculty Medicine at Cairo University.

The program included three sessions with international, regional and local community development specialists as keynote speakers

 

First session: Contemporary approaches to socio-economic empowerment of women and young people in remote areas

The session highlighted the mechanisms for sustainable development and the challenges that face the field, as well as national strategic directions for local institutions working in women empowerment and SME development in remote regions, with the purpose of addressing unemployment challenges and contributing in achieving a sustainable development model leading to a just society

The session was led by Dr.Maged Osman, Managing Director of the Egyptian Center for Public Opinion Research (Baseera)

Panelists included:

Dr. Abla Abdel Latif   Presidential Economic Committee Head

Eng. Khaled Abd EL Qader, CEO of Microsoft Egypt

Ms. Nahla Zaiton, Senior Social Protection Specilaist at the World Bank

Ms. Sherien El Shorbagy, Director of Technical Support and Sustainable Development at IMC

Second session: The integration of health and technology for better health system in remote areas

The session included the exchange of best practices in the local, regional and international arena’s by the institutions working in that field, with the of finding innovative solutions that contribute towards offering health services in rural areas that mimic in their quality those services found in the major cities.

The session was led by Dr. Wael Bddel Aal, Magdi Yacoub Foundation – Aswan.

Panelists included:

·         Eng. Khaled El Attar,  ICT Infrastructure Director at MCIT

·         Eng. Sherif Eisa, Manager of Health and Environment Unit at Orange

·         Eng. Hany Farouk, WHO

·         Eng. Hisham Fayek, Manager of Sales at e-finance

Third Session: The role of NGOs in promoting technological educational services in remote areas

The sessions showcased the national strategic vision for local civil society efforts in contributing to the improvement of educational services in the country using ICT tools in rural areas.

The Session was led by Eng. Yasser Kazem, ELCC Director

 

Panelists included:

·         Mr. Yassin Abd El Sabour, Head of the Teachers Union at Aswan and Parliament Member

·         Ms. Mahira Hassan, Secretary General of Vodafone Foundation Egypt

·         Mr. Moustafa Farahat, Foudner and Manger of Nafham Foundation

·         Dr. Nashwa Ayoub, Head of the Education Unit at Masr El Khier NGO

 The agenda also stems out of the UN sustainable Development Goals, as well as Egypt’s Sustainable Development Strategy 2030. The conference also stems out of MCIT’s vision in investing in the enabling of Egyptian human capacity in light of the move towards a knowledge based economy, as well as creating an enabling environment for developmental sectors such as health, education, vocational crafts, SME’s , and women empowerment, to achieve a better standard of living for the Egyptian people living in remote and marginalized areas.

 

 As such, the ICT Trust fund, as a subsidiary of MCIT and the UNDP has worked since its inception in 2002 on utilizing ICT tools in the development arena (health, education, women empowerment, strengthening civil society capacities, SME’s and entrepreneurship, people with disabilities) to ensure the sustainability of outcomes as well as the contribution in alleviating social living standards, specifically in remote and marginalized regions. This was achieved through the Integrated Development Project in North Sinai – Siwa. It is noteworthy that this particular project won the AGFUND Award, which contributed in the replication of the model in the ICT Integrated Development Project - Nuba. The ICT Trust Fund will continue in reaching more remote regions such as the New Valley and Halayeb and Shalateen, and hopefully many more.