Be­com­ing tech savvy

Egypt’s In­for­ma­tion Tech­nol­ogy In­sti­tute helps up­skill peo­ple from over the con­ti­nent

The Star Late Edition - - METRO - MPILETSO MOTUMI

AS PART of the Union of African Jour­nal­ists pro­gramme in Cairo, Egypt, jour­nal­ists at­tend­ing the course vis­ited sev­eral me­dia or­gan­i­sa­tions in the city.

Among them was the Smart Vil­lage, home to var­i­ous tech­no­log­i­cal com­pa­nies in the coun­try.

The In­for­ma­tion Tech­nol­ogy In­sti­tute was formed in 1993 and has six main branches, with two based in Cairo.

The in­sti­tute spe­cialises in train­ing peo­ple to be­come tech savvy.

“We were reached out to by dif­fer­ent coun­tries in Africa to con­trib­ute in train­ing their stu­dents. We want our stu­dents to work af­ter they fin­ish their train­ing and know the tech­nol­ogy trends of mar­kets that are not ma­ture yet,” said Fatma Alash­mawi, a busi­ness de­vel­op­ment ex­ec­u­tive at the in­sti­tute.

The spe­cial­i­sa­tions changed depend­ing on what trends were form­ing in the world of tech­nol­ogy. The last few years have seen de­vel­op­ment around the Suez Canal, so the in­sti­tute in­ves­ti­gated the tech­nolo­gies that would be needed.

“The kind of de­mands that com­pa­nies ask from stu­dents of dif­fer­ent spe­cial­i­sa­tions is how we fo­cus our train­ing. We have sat­u­ra­tion in soft­ware as­sur­ance test­ing and de­vel­op­ment and lesser at IoT (In­ter­net of Things) ap­pli­ca­tion de­vel­op­ment be­cause it is a new trend as the mar­ket is not ma­ture enough,” said Alash­mawi.

The pop­u­lar nine-month de­vel­op­ment pro­gramme at the in­sti­tute has 32 spe­cial­i­sa­tions with 10000 ap­pli­cants ev­ery year, and 900 of those get a spot. The ca­sual learn­ing of­fers train­ing in ar­ti­fi­cial in­tel­li­gence, learn­ing hackathons, mo­bile de­vel­oper week­ends, Egypt Big Data and the Global Game Jam that is held in Jan­uary ev­ery year. The jam has sites over the world, with the in­sti­tute hav­ing the first one in Egypt and hold­ing the Guin­ness record for the largest num­ber of par­tic­i­pants from one coun­try.

The in­sti­tute also trains young minds aged 10 to 16 on dif­fer­ent tech­nolo­gies avail­able to them like ro­bot­ics and graphic de­sign and how to use tech­nol­ogy to de­velop pro­grammes.

| @mane_mpi

Jour­nal­ists from Namibia, Sene­gal, Le­sotho, Botswana and Zim­babwe took a tour around an the In­for­ma­tion Tech­nol­ogy In­sti­tute in the Smart Vil­lage in Cairo, Egypt. Below: Fatma Alash­mawi is the busi­ness de­vel­op­ment ex­ec­u­tive at the pop­u­lar in­sti­tute.

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