Intel CEO hails Egyptian IT sector
Focusing on Egypt’s burgeoning technology evolution, Intel Corporation Chief Executive Officer Craig Barrett recognized the country’s efforts to achieve sustainable economic growth and be competitive in the emerging digital economy.
Barrett, in a speech to government and business leaders in Egypt earlier this week, cited the tremendous strides the nation has made over the past several years to modernize its information and communication technology (ICT) infrastructure. Egypt’s forward-minded and business-friendly government policies, education programs and other initiatives are attracting major IT companies to come and invest, proving to the local market and the rest of the world that the nation’s technology strategy is starting to show results, according to Barrett.
“Egypt is transforming into an information society,” said Barrett. “Intel is committed to working hand in hand with the government and public sector, along with other key private companies, to accelerate Egypt’s ICT transformation.”
An example of Intel’s commitment is the opening of the Platform Definition Centre in Cairo, which will define and develop platforms designed specifically for the needs of Intel’s customers in Egypt, other Middle East countries and Africa.
“These new platforms will complement Intel’s existing platform portfolio and will help people improve their lives through access to technology,” said Barrett.
In addition, Intel today opened the Intel Software Enablement Lab. The lab provides software products to help regional independent software vendors bring their products to the market faster through technical training and market development support.
Intel chose Cairo as the location for its Platform Definition Centre and Software Enablement Lab due to its central location in the Middle East, the skilled workforce and strong government support for ICT.
To create a competitive advantage for Egypt, the country is already taking key steps to intensify technology education in public schools. With the cooperation of Egypt’s Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology, Intel is helping Egypt become a pioneer in establishing new “e-education” initiatives through the implementation of such programs as Intel Teach to the Future. Since the program was launched in Egypt in April 2004, thousands of teachers have been trained to integrate technology into instruction and enhance student learning. By year’s end, an estimated 15,000 teachers will have gone through the program.
During his visit, Barrett also visited Om Abtal Smart School, one of 50 public ‘Smart’ schools in the Greater Cairo area where four PC labs are in operation and where he inaugurated the first wireless PC lab in an Egyptian school.
In a further show of commitment to the local market’s growth, Intel will bring the International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) to Egypt in the coming academic year. ISEF is the largest pre-college science competition showcasing the world’s most promising young inventors and scientists as they compete for more than $3 million (U.S.) in awards and scholarships. Intel is sponsoring Mohammed Zohair, nominated by Egypt’s Ministry of Education, for the U.S. event in May. Mohammed is a student at the Modern Education School and his project is an aerial transportation vehicle for providing emergency services in traffic-congested Cairo.
Intel also supports accelerating digital government efforts such as the Government Assisted PC Purchase Programs, and is actively helping with the Egyptian government PC-for-every-citizen initiative that enables increased number of Egyptian citizens to afford a PC. The initiative helps nations develop their information societies, bridge the digital divide and build personal computer skills to enable countries to compete in the global economy.