mr Talaat, Minister of Communications and Information Technology, witnessed, via video conference technology, the announcement of the results of the third and final edition of the African Cup for Innovation of Digital Applications and Games (AAL CUP 2021), which was organized by the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology, represented by the Information Technology Industry Development Agency (ITIDA) and implemented through the Center for Technological Innovation and Entrepreneurship.
Talaat pointed out that the conclusion of the competition represents the culmination of the tireless efforts over the three years since the launch of the presidential initiative “Africa for the Creativity of Digital Applications and Games”; highlighting the boom that has been achieved in programs and initiatives related to building digital capabilities at the Egyptian and African levels, despite the challenges posed by the pandemic.
He stressed that the initiative was launched in the context of keenness to maximize the use of digital solutions to serve the African continent, and in the belief in the capabilities of African youth to adapt technology and develop innovative and creative solutions to meet societal challenges on the continent.
Talaat added that Egypt has adopted a comprehensive approach and an integrated vision based on a hierarchical model for building digital skills in various ICT sciences. The training budget has been doubled 22 times within three years, and the number of trainees has increased 50 times, in addition to implementing initiatives to encourage innovation and entrepreneurship, stimulate creativity, and promote research and development.
Talaat explained that the presidential initiative “Africa for the Creativity of Digital Applications and Games” was launched with the aim of sharing capacity building programs in digital applications and games with brothers in African countries; in a manner that contributes to creating job and business opportunities for African youth by supporting the establishment of start-ups, as well as by building educational networks at the African level in pioneering technologies to serve as platforms for technological innovation and entrepreneurship. He pointed out that the initiative is complemented by other long-term capacity building programs, including the programs provided by the Egyptian-African Training Center for Training in the Field of Communications Regulation, and the Regional Postal Training Center.
The Minister of Communications reviewed the outcomes of the initiative, which included training about 10,000 young men and women, students and graduates, who completed 27,377 training content in 30 technological tracks and specializations. The establishment of more than 100 start-up companies was also supported. He explained that the distinguished models of the initiative will be given the opportunity to review their experience at the World Youth Forum in January 2022. He thanked all the cooperating parties in implementing the initiative and enabling it to reach 22 African countries.
The final qualifiers for the competition, which was supervised by a jury composed of members from Egypt, Nigeria and Morocco, resulted in the winning of 6 companies in the three different positions in the application design and digital game development tracks, with a total financial prize of $48,000 in addition to a prize of $1,000 for the rest of the teams that reached the final stage.
The first place in the application design track was won by the Africa Innovation Technology Group from Cameroon, the second place was won by Boxconn Technologies from Ghana, the second place was repeated by the Egyptian company Qme, and the third place was won by Arete-consulting from Egypt as well.
Two companies won in the digital game design track. The first place was won by Dimension11 from Nigeria, and the third place was won by Alkemiza from South Africa.
During their review of their companies’ solutions, the representatives and founders of the winning startups from African countries thanked the Egyptian state and those in charge of the initiative for their support and the experience and skills they gained.
It is noteworthy that IBM, in cooperation with ITIDA, trained the work teams of the start-up companies participating in the competition and provided mentorship programs in the field of entrepreneurship, as well as technical training in the field of data analysis and artificial intelligence. The company also participated in the judging process to select the best applicants, and provided the winners with a range of different support services and technical advice while allowing them to benefit from its technological platforms and programs.
The closing activities of the competition were attended by representatives of the work teams participating in the competition from Egypt and African countries, a group of leaders of the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology, and a number of executives at the Center for Technological Innovation and Entrepreneurship at the Information Technology Industry Development Authority (ITIDA).