In line with Egypt’s endeavors to narrow the digital gap and turn to a global hub in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, Telecentres-Egypt allows community members to keep pace with technology advancement of the new era.
Telecentres-Egypt are first-class empowering tool and a community portal offering ICT training, literacy programs, health education, community learning programs services in addition to e-government services and streamlining the application process for various certificates and licenses, to youth, adults, women and people with special needs.
Hosted by civil society associations, youth clubs, Red Crescent associations, libraries, and governmental and non-governmental organizations, the number of telecentres surpassed 2000 distributed across strategic governorates such as North Sinai, the Red Sea, Aswan, New Valley and Marsa Matrouh.
MCIT seeks to reach every neighborhood nationwide and enrich the centers activities and segments benefiting of them. The Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT) works on expanding the network of telecentres in Egypt to provide service to the largest possible segment of society.
Under the name of IT clubs, Telecentres in Egypt commenced in 2000 as part of MCIT national plan to eliminate digital illiteracy in the society, develop university and school graduates’ skills to qualify them for the job market and to provide Internet services to communicate with other parts of the world at affordable prices.
MCIT, in cooperation with the private sector, provides PC laboratories in schools, clubs, universities and youth centers and equip them with printers, networks, Internet connections and of course trainers. Reinforcing the telecentres role in 2011, MCIT planned to connect the centers through a technology corridor, a virtual one which has in common a number of programs and software as part of the human capacity building activities. Since 2011 and for three consecutive years, these centers were known as technology homes.
In 2014 and after the ICT Trust Fund took over the project’s management, it grew more coherent. The project’s role was not only limited to accessing Internet, but also achieving society prosperity in line with the telecentres network standards worldwide. This is how the clubs acquired its new name: Telecentres.
§ Improve individuals’ skills
§ Build human capacity, qualify youth for the job market by benefiting of ICTs
§ Raise awareness about ICT applications and raise community awareness
§ Build institutional capabilities of governmental and non-governmental organizations which incorporate telecentres, while providing training programs and services to guarantee the project’s sustainability
The new vision of the Telecentres-Egypt network is based on establishing an IT clubs network divided into a main center with high technical and administrative standards that has strong expertise in societal development, with at least 85% conformity to the global telecentres applications model.
The main center supervises a number of partner centers which conforms with 65- 85% to technical and administrative standards, in order to ensure knowledge and expertise exchange among different telecentres nationwide. The networking work model facilitates follow-up during the project’s different phases.
The new model assists institutions in all possible ways while maintaining their independency and guaranteeing sustainability of the project.
The plan of supporting governmental and non-governmental institutions that englobe telecentres or seek to incorporate them requires the study of the community to understand its needs and set a plan for attaining goals.
This is in addition to raising human capacities by providing training programs like ToT courses to qualify telecentres’ employees. There is also the need for developing institution informatics capabilities through building a database of beneficiaries and electronically document activities of main and partner telecentres, as well as activating the role of telecentres societal connection through creating a communication network among telecentres on local and regional levels to exchange expertise.