6 December 2010
Egypt ICT Trust Fund Reaps the First Category Prize in AGFUND International

Under the theme " Development of Remote and Rural Communities Through Information Technology and Communication ", the First Category Prize of AGFUND International 2010 went to "Integrated Program to Develop Siwa Oasis Using ICT", one of the ICT Trust Fund projects implemented by Egypt ICT Trust Fund.

The award was announced subsequent to the discussion held by the Prize Committee Members during their meeting, headed by Prince Turky Bin Talal on behalf of Prince Talal Bin Abdul Aziz, President of (AGFUND) on November 30th in Kualalampur, the capital of Malaysia.

One of the direct impacts of the winning project is that it leads to the empowerment of the whole local community in Siwa Oasis in areas of literacy, education, health and SMEs through small, integrated, and focused interventions using ICT solutions in the following sectors:

- ICT 4 Education: Implementing a complete IT & Networking infrastructure for 6 essential education schools. In addition to deploying School Management & Learning Management Systems with a complete capacity building program for the teachers and administrators to integrate the ICT programs in the educational process such as using ICT-TF multimedia CD set and tabluter hardware. Also, alleviating women illiteracy through cooperation with "Siwa Community Access Center for Women" to introduce several ICT services as illiteracy eradication

- ICT4Health: Establishing telemedicine solution through connecting Siwa central hospital to El Shatby pediatric hospital in Alexandra University to provide telemedicine and remote diagnoses in the areas of Pediatrics / Children diseases in partnership with the World Health Organization.

- ICT 4 IE: Implementing a Mobile Multi-head Computing Units “TABLUTER” which alleviates the women illiteracy through interactive software for Illiteracy Eradication and Digital illiteracy. The Tabluter is a customized ergonomic embedded single CPU that runs for four independent users, was developed to override the traditional customs that prevent women from outside their homes to attend educational classes. The Tabluter is used as mobile Educational Lab situated in individual homes.

- ICT 4 M/SM Enterprises: Developing an E-Market Portal to promote the SIWA Products on-line in order to enlarge the virtual marketplace of the M/SM Enterprises working in SIWA. www.siwashop.net.

So far, The project has resulted in evolving a new Siwa through the accomplishment of the following:

- In the field of Eradicating Illiteracy, ICT-TF has succeeded in decreasing Illiteracy rates in Siwa significantly to a marginal rate of only 2% of the Siwan community, 2 Tabluters were developed while 5 more are being built, and finally The e-content of the project raise general awareness of everyday activities in all fields.

- In the field of Education, 3 schools (grade 1 to grade 9) were fully equipped with computer labs and internet connectivity, 3 more Smart Schools are currently in progress, 41 Teachers have improved their teaching knowledge and skills, 1128 Students have new IT skills, the rate of students drop out of the schools has decreased especially for girls, and finally, Parents are benefiting now from the CLCs after school official hours.

- In the field of Health, 7 doctors from Siwa Central hospital were trained on the Remote-Diagnosis-procedures, e-medical learning, and using the software for diagnosis, while 3 medical staff was trained on how to operate the tele-consultation system. Besides, 50 children from the tele-consultation services in two months.

- In the field of Empowering Entrepreneurs through ICT, and through the establishment of Siwa shop portal, 54 Siwan SMEs owners were able to market their products online. As for the number of the customers that visit that portal, 520 local and international visits to the portal have been made till now. Now, the project is preparing with Siwa post office for a full e-marketing solution with e-payment procedures for the Products shipping and Cash Management.

It is worth mentioning that four projects have won AGFUND2010 prize which were selected among 28 projects nominated for the four categories of the Prize, from 25 countries representing 3 continents.

About Egypt ICT Trust Fund
Established jointly by MCIT and UNDP in 2002, Egypt ICT Trust Fund aims to foster Egypt’s socio-economic development through a serious of coordinated initiatives and projects that utilize ICTs for the empowerment of communities through an integrated public-private partnerships model. This is achieved by increasing the awareness of ICTs and making it more acceptable and affordable to all citizens.

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