The ICT Minister Yasser ElKady has opened the first annual Sustainable Development in Remote Areas Conference under the theme “Technologically Empowered Communities–Nub@”, organized by Egypt Information and Communication Technology Trust Fund (ICT-TF)— jointly established by the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT) and the United Nations Development Program UNDP—in collaboration with UNDP.
The Conference Inauguration Ceremony was attended by the Governor of Aswan Major General Magdy Hegazy and the UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative in Egypt Anita Nirody, in addition to several experts representing state institutions, international organizations, NGOs and individuals specialized in the field of community development and ICTs.
The Conference aims to review the methodology and success stories of the integrated development project using ICTs in Nuba, implemented by ICT-TF as an integrated development model for a technology-enabled community.
During the conference, ElKady witnessed the signing of two new agreements aiming to invest efforts and successes of the integrated development projects in remote areas to ensure its continuity and sustainability. The first agreement is between ICT-TF, the Industrial Modernization Center (IMC) and e-Finance Company. It is intended to support the traditional industries of small producers in remote areas and open foreign markets for them through marketing and e- commerce services and techniques to establish an Egyptian competitive market integrated into the global economy.
The second agreement was signed between ICT-TF and Kasr Al Ainy School of Medicine- Cairo University. The agreement aims to improve the quality of services provided to Egyptian citizens through development of technological capabilities by using cloud computing to facilitate managing the health system and providing services to patients at any time and from anywhere. The agreement also aims to ensure the sustainability of remote medical diagnostic services in Nuba region, Aswan. Expansion in other areas are expected in future projects.
The agreement was signed by the National Director of Egypt ICT Trust Fund Hoda Dahroug and the Dean for Postgraduate Studies and Research at Faculty of Medicine, Cairo University Tarek Anis.
The conference program included three main sessions, the first session addressed contemporary trends to empower women and young people economically and socially in remote areas. The session was baout development mechanisms, challenges of sustainability and national strategic visions of the institutions in the field of empowering women and supporting small businesses in remote areas to cope with unemployment and contribute to achieving sustainable equitable development.
The second session also dealt with the significance of the integration of health services and information technology to support the health system in remote areas. It showcases and shares key local, regional and international experiences of entities operating in this area to reach innovative solutions that contribute to providing medical services to those areas similar to those in cities and urban centers .
The third session discussed the role of Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) in promoting technological education services in remote areas. The session presented the national strategic visions of CSOs in promoting educational services by using ICTs in remote areas and the challenges of its sustainability.
The conference also reviewed the methodology, mechanisms and success stories of “Integrated ICT solutions for Development – Nuba “Project, implemented by ICT-TF as a an integrated development model for a technologically empowered community. The conference also discussed means to sustain this integrated model via creating other new models, and upgrading those models from the level of exchange to the level of coordination and integration.
The conference is within the UN sustainable development objectives, the vision of Egypt's 2030 strategy and MCIT role towards empowering Egyptian citizens in light of the shift towards a knowledge economy society and creating an appropriate enabling environment in the areas of education, health, crafts, small enterprises and women's empowerment to improve citizens' living standard particularly in remote areas.
ICT-TF— jointly established by MCIT and UNDP since 2002— has been exerting great efforts to optimize technological services in different developmental pivots (Health - Education – women’s empowerment - developing and supporting NGOs - supporting small enterprises and entrepreneurs - supporting persons with disabilities) to achieve sustainable effects contribute to raising the standard of living, especially in remote areas.
ICT-TF achieved its objectives through the integrated development projects in North Sinai and Siwa to establish an integrated development model to be applied in remote communities.
Siwa project won an international and regional recognition, and got the Arab Gulf Program for Development (AGFUND) Award, which contributed to replicate this model in the “Integrated ICT solutions for Development – Nuba “Project. ICT-TF seeks through the Central Administration for Community Development on maintaining these efforts and reaching new target areas as the New Valley, Halayib and Shalateen.