ICT Minister Witnesses Opening ‘She Can’
The Minister of Communications and Information Technology Amr Talaat has witnessed the opening ceremony of the fifth edition of "She Can 2020" women entrepreneurship annual event.
The event is organized by Entreprenelle, under the auspices of the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT) and in collaboration with Microsoft Egypt, under the theme "Fresh Start". It is attended by around 7000 participants, including public and inspiring figures and female entrepreneurs - small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) owners.
The event includes workshops and sessions in different fields, and presents inspiring success stories of female entrepreneurs. This is in addition to workshops and orientation sessions for supporting female participants to start their own business and guiding them through entrepreneurship.
The ICT Minister, during his speech, said that women are the backbone of the Egyptian community. Throughout the years, Egyptian women have demonstrated will and ability to excel, said Talaat, adding that he appreciates Egyptian women and wished the attendees a happy international women's day.
Talaat stated that MCIT is implementing initiatives for empowering youth and entrepreneurs, an objective that cannot be achieved without empowering Egyptian women. He referred to the initiatives that aim to empower women to increase their income and participate more in the gross domestic product (GDP), in the society and in enriching Egyptian families' lives.
This includes Qodwa-tech initiative that MCIT launched to raise women's efficiency to do their business using ICT. In addition, an e-commerce platform is being creating to help preserve heritage crafts and historical industries in Egypt, and support productive women to do their business and market their products.
MCIT is also establishing technology innovation and entrepreneurship centers and technology hubs in regional universities, through which women and girls shall receive training on different ICT areas, to be able to harness such technologies in their work field or pursue a career in one of these areas.
Furthermore, the Central Department for Community Development at MCIT is organizing "Qodwa-Tech Artificial Intelligence (AI) Hackathon: Reviving Culture and Heritage" as part of She Can 2020 activities, on March 7-9. The hackathon aims to raise young women's awareness of the technological updates, and provide them with the skills and knowledge needed to develop solutions using technology and AI, to help revive heritage and culture.
Around 120 young women applied for the hackathon, 50 of which were selected according to specific standards. During the three-day hackathon, participants receive training and mentoring in technology areas, entrepreneurship, how to link culture and technology to apply ideas with the highest quality possible, and funding opportunities.
MCIT launched Qodwa-Tech as a national initiative, targeting investing women's innovative potentials and encouraging them to leverage ICT solutions. The initiative activities are carried out in different areas nationwide, especially in underserved areas. The aim is to reach 2000 craftswomen and female entrepreneurs, annually, to build their capacities and enhance their technology skills, to help them reach out to the world and market their handicrafts, digitally, using modern technologies.
This is implemented in collaboration with Egypt National Post Organization (ENPO) that helps market Qodwa-Tech participants' products, in Egypt and Africa, on bareedmall.egyptpost.org, in collaboration with the African Union (AU). The aim is to stimulate e-commerce between the African countries, in terms of shipping and marketing, thus creating decent jobs that help improve that quality of life.
Through the initiative, MCIT adopts an unusual model to develop and build Egyptian women's capacities, namely "Info Lady," which supports creating a healthy competitive work environment for female entrepreneurs. The model involves selecting ambitious female entrepreneurs from underserved areas, training and guiding them to use IT applications, so they can guide and mentor other craftswomen, thus broadening the training scope and creating a sustainable model that contributes to reducing unemployment.
The initiative also includes organizing awareness sessions for women to promote financial inclusion concepts and its impact on the role of women in increasing their contribution to boosting the national economy.
This is in addition to creating an e-portal for successful female entrepreneurs to ease their access to training and educational programs organized through the initiative using online and mobile
applications. The e-portal presents a number of illustrated stories of women creating handicrafts and heritage crafts. It also enables continuous interaction by asking questions and supporting female entrepreneurs.
As a result of these efforts, Qodwa-Tech was listed among the world's top five projects at the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) Prizes 2020, for "The role of governments and all stakeholders in the promotion of ICTs for development" category, after competing with 20 other projects, reaching the competition finals.
MCIT is keen to achieve integration and high quality in building and implementing development models through its various projects. It collaborates with a number of partners from all the state institutions concerned with development. The aim is to achieve integration in empowering women, leading to a model of value chains that help transfer and exchange experiences in technology fields, and accelerate economic growth.